CHAVEZ POWER GRAB!
Hugo Chavez finally got what he wanted... Full dictatorial control of Venezuela (at least for the next 18 months)... How much you wanna bet it becomes permanent?
Venezuela's National Assembly has given initial approval to a bill granting the president the power to bypass congress and rule by decree for 18 months.
President Hugo Chavez says he wants "revolutionary laws" to enact sweeping political, economic and social changes.
He has said he wants to nationalise key sectors of the economy and scrap limits on the terms a president can serve.
Mr Chavez began his third term in office last week after a landslide election victory in December.
The bill allowing him to enact laws by decree is expected to win final approval easily in the assembly on its second reading on Tuesday.
Venezuela's political opposition has no representation in the National Assembly since it boycotted elections in 2005.