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Monday, October 25, 1999 Published at 20:00 GMT 21:00 UK

World: Americas

Venezuela's Chavez defends his reforms

The Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, has said that the political transformation he is trying to implement in Venezuela does not pose a threat to democracy.

Mr Chavez was speaking at a news conference on the second and final day of a visit to Spain.

The Spanish prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar, said he believed the reforms in Venezuela were in the right direction.

President Chavez has made constitutional reform his priority, and given an increased social role to the armed forces.

His opponents accuse him of trying to concentrate too much power in his own hands. Mr Chavez, who has just finished a tour of Asian countries, travels to Paris on Tuesday.

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