Chavez Announces Plans to Move Toward 'Socialist Republic of Venezuela'

President Hugo Chavez announced plans Monday to nationalize Venezuela's electrical and telecommunications companies and amend the constitution, transforming his country into a socialist state.

"All of that which was privatized, let it be nationalized," Chavez said in a televised speech, referring to "all of those sectors in an area so important and strategic for all of us as is electricity."

"The nation should recover its ownership of strategic sectors," he added after swearing in a new Cabinet.

Chavez also said he wanted a constitutional amendment to eliminate the autonomy of the Central Bank.

"We're moving toward a socialist republic of Venezuela, and that requires a deep reform of our national constitution," Chavez said.