Chávez watch : president loses referendum vote
Hugo Chávez, president of Venezuela, got a surprise at the start of December when he failed to win his bid to remove restrictions on the number of terms a president can serve. The referendum result was apparently close. The president is reported to have said that this was just one battle in a long war to strengthen his grip. Despite this setback, Chávez is still clearly in power and able to push through other self-serving legislation.