August 21, 2017

Venezuelans Pack Streets to Cast Vote in Constituent Assembly

31 July 2017, 08:07 | Christie Tate

Venezuela crisis enters new phase with Sunday vote

International Electoral Observers Report Irregularities with Opposition Plebiscite

The opposition contends the assembly would dissolve the opposition-controlled congress and turn Venezuela into a socialist dictatorship.

More than 400 people have been killed in four months of protests against the assembly.

"Maduro is isolating us from the world and transforming our country into an island, like Cuba", Borges said.

"I don't know where their hate comes from".

"A group of unknown broke into the house 39-year-old lawyer and repeatedly shot him". She also spoke of delays in some locations due to opposition protests.

Santos says he will continue advocating for a peaceful resolution to Venezuela's almost four months of political upheaval that has left at least 113 people dead.

In the west of the city, National Guard troops used armored vehicles, rubber bullets and teargas to disperse protesters blocking roads.

Four soldiers were wounded in a homemade-fireworks blast directed at them in the east of the capital. A soldier was also shot dead there.

The opposition's bid previous year to hold a recall referendum against Maduro was nixed, regional elections have been postponed and the president has repeatedly ignored Congress.

Thus virtually all the more than 5,000 candidates for 545 assembly seats are Maduro supporters.

The constitution would replace the one crafted by Chavez in 1999 in a previous constituent assembly, considered one of his legacies.

House Republicans rail on Senate GOP for torpedoing health care
Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., initially said "not yet" when asked if he was ready to vote for the scaled-back Senate bill. Republican lawmakers have struggled to honor their biggest campaign promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Elsewhere, streets in Venezuela have been largely deserted with just a trickle of people heading to vote in the widely criticised elections.

Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman, reporting from the capital, Caracas, said that it was "sad and bloody day in Venezuela". From that moment on, Venezuelans have been fighting on the streets to show their disapproval towards the possibility of having a new constitution that has the aim of increasing the control of the government over the state and the population reducing thus political liberties and human rights. Of the dozens of others sites seen by the AP, two in the loyalist-heavy neighborhood of El Valle had lines of approximately 200 to 400 people.

Venezuela's chief prosecutor's office reported 10 deaths Sunday in clashes between protesters and police across the country.

"We're talking about a conflict that will last until there are elections", said Benigno Alarcon, director of the Center of for Political Students at Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas. Vice President Mike Pence promised on Friday that the US would take "strong and swift economic actions" if the vote went ahead. Organizers said preliminary results from observers placed in almost every Venezuelan municipality indicated a small fraction of the turnout seen in previous elections had voted.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is paying homage to the late Hugo Chavez on what would have been his predecessor's 63rd birthday.

State employees, who depend on their free housing and food subsidies, have been bombarded with texts and calls telling them to vote or risk losing their lifelines.

"It's been 20 years already and we haven't had the freedom, so that's what I'm here for, voting for my country", said Viviana Salazar. "I ask God for his blessings so the people can freely exercise their democratic right to vote", the president said.

Sector-wide sanctions could prove devastating given the two countries' close economic ties and the dire state of Venezuela's finances.

People wait to vote during the election of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) at a polling station in Caracas, Venezuela, on July 30, 2017.

The absence of the opposition's participation means the pool of aspirants for the all-powerful assembly is a mixture of well-known ruling Socialist Party leaders and rank-and-file pro-government activists.

Other News

Trending Now

Trump rails against Senate rules in wake of health care defeat
"Last night's vote is a slap in the face to the millions of pro-lifers who worked hard to elect a pro-life majority in the U.S. But they each contained incentives for Americans to remain continuously insured, which is crucial for the health of the market.

China condemns North Korea missile launch
There are other hurdles, including building nuclear warheads to fit on those missiles and ensuring reliability. Two of the USA made missile systems are already deployed in South Korea, though four more are now in storage.

Muslim rioters, Israeli police clash after government lifts security measures
The conflicts occurred in the wake of a shooting attack on July 14 that left three Palestinians and two Israelis killed .

Fans rising up against possible Kaepernick signing in Baltimore
Asked about possibility of Flacco missing the beginning of the new campaign, Harbaugh replied; "Nothing like that". The Ravens signed no-name former arena league QB David Olson off the street to add another training camp arm.

Playing County has helped me grow as a cricketer, says Pujara
Ashwin will look to continue his fine run of form against Sri Lanka in the 2nd Test which begins on August 3 at Colombo. In the pics, they were seen chilling in the resort alongside KL Rahul, who missed the opening Test due to viral flu.

Small Businesses Unsure About Health Care
Traveling Friday afternoon, President Trump responded to questions about the health care vote by saying, "It's going to be fine". They may also lose trust in their government and their elected leaders, and, eventually, in democratic government itself.

John Kelly Named Trump Chief Of Staff; Priebus Resigns
Most importantly, when it comes to Kelly, he's a big Trump guy, something that Priebus couldn't overcome. Minutes later, he tweeted, "In light of the leak of my financial info which is a felony".

McCain Votes No, Derails 'Skinny Repeal' In Marathon Session
Mitch McConnell's tactical brilliance in dealing with health-care legislation doesn't mean he has a strategy for actual success. He said even the most conservative members will be reluctant to comment because of the uncertainty of what's to come.

US Senate passes sanctions bill against Russia, Iran and North Korea
The US ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, was summoned to the foreign ministry on Friday morning to be given the news. Putin's decision not to retaliate was not accompanied by any broader change in Russia's worldwide relations posture.

Galle Test: India extend lead to 498 on Day 3
Sri Lanka s 250 came up in the 70th over, as Perera started throwing his bat around and getting runs in boundaries. Herath tried to go for a reverse-sweep but the ball brushed his glove on its way to Ajinkya Rahane at first slip.