Chávez issued 26 laws last week, many of which resemble items in a constitutional reform package rejected by voters last December.
Bolivians vote Sunday on the fate of President Evo Morales and other top officials.
A new pro-poor break-away church vexes the country's Catholic leaders, who call it a Chávez ploy.
Without Bush to rail against, Chávez will be left without a foil, say analysts.
After a series of setbacks, leftist President Hugo Chávez welcomed his conservative nemesis – Colombia's Álvaro Uribe – to a reconcilatory meeting on Friday.
While his Colombian girlfriend and twin sons wait, American captive Keith Stansell reaches out.
On Sunday, the Amazonian states of Beni and Pando voted overwhelmingly in favor of more autonomy from the socialist government of Evo Morales.
In 1957, the Monitor covered the launch of the career of Yves Saint Laurent, who died on June 1, when he became head of Christian Dior's couture house at age 21. He would go on to become of the most influential fashion designers of the past century.