On July 22, 2007, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that constitutional reforms would include private property rights. The proposed reforms would have allowed Chavez to stand indefinitely for reelection, handpick local leaders under a new political map, create new types of communal property and suspend civil liberties during states of emergency. Though Chavez stated that the changes were necessary to advance Venezuela's socialist revolution, opposition politicians accused Chavez of trying to use constitutional reforms to consolidate power. The reforms were ultimately rejected, though the international community continues to criticize the Venezuelan government for denying basic human rights to its citizens.
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