State of emergency looming in Venezuela

President Hugo Chávez is ready to declare a state of emergency if oil workers at the nation's state-owned oil monopoly were to go on strike.

On his weekly radio show, Chávez accused labor and opposition leaders of sowing discontent at Petróleos de Venezuela and said he had a contingency plan should workers and management go on strike. Hundreds of oil administrators have been protesting Chávez's appointment of five people to the company's seven-member board of directors, calling them politically motivated.

Some executives have raised the possibility of a strike, although other managers said they supported Chávez's appointments. Dissident managers will be fired if they continue protesting, he warned.

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