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Chavez on the offensive

The week's news at a glance.

Caracas

President Hugo Chavez sent soldiers to take over civilian police stations in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, this week. Angry citizens rushed out in protest, shouting “Get out!” and banging pots and pans. Chavez said strikes by some officers during a six-week labor dispute were threatening public safety. “We must impose authority,” he said. Opposition leaders accused Chavez of trying to scare them into dropping calls for a referendum on his rule, which they said was leading the country to ruin. Foreign diplomats are trying to broker a peaceful solution, said political analyst Michael Shifter, but hope is fading. “The situation is very volatile and could easily get out of control,” he said.

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