More than 100,000 people flooded the streets of the capital Thursday to oppose a referendum that would eliminate term limits for President Hugo Chavez and help him establish a socialist state in Venezuela. Blowing whistles, waving placards and shouting "Not like this!" the marchers carried Venezuelan flags and dressed in blue - the chosen color of the opposition - as they streamed along Bolivar Avenue. "This is a movement by those of us who oppose a change to this country's way of life, because what (the referendum) aims to do is impose totalitarianism," said former lawmaker Elias Matta . "There can't be a communist Venezuela, and that's why our society is reacting this way." No official crowd estimates were available, but opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez said about 160,000 protesters filled the avenue, and thousands more spilled over onto surrounding roads. The rally was among the largest by the opposition in recent years. The rally marked the close of the opposition's campaign against the proposed constitutional changes, which will be submitted to a vote Sunday. Chavez plans to lead rallies in favor of the reforms Friday //Associated Press Writer .
Venezuelans protest Chavez's referendum
30 November 2007 07:38 (UTC+04:00)