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Monday, 13 December, 1999, 23:46 GMT
Venezuela leader ''like Mussolini''

Two days ahead of a referendum in Venezuela on a new constitution, a Roman Catholic cardinal has likened President Hugo Chavez to the former Italian fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini.

The cardinal, Rosalio Castillo was responding to criticism by Mr Chavez of several bishops opposed to his political reforms.

There's been increasing acrimony between the church and Mr Chavez over an article in the new constitution which the church says will ease restrictions on abortions.

Mr Chavez has made constitutional reform a key part of the radical changes he promised when he swept to power earlier this year.

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