Venezuela Election Called ‘Sham’ by US
Venezuela election resulted in tear gas, rubber bullets and at least ten people killed. The US and Britain have called the landmark vote a ‘sham.’ Many people in the South American country believe it is headed for a dictatorship and they boycotted yesterday’s vote. They refused to vote for an assembly that would give President Nicolas Maduro nearly unlimited powers.
Maduro Said it was the “Biggest Vote for Revolution”
Many polling stations were deserted. The National Electoral Council said more than eight million people voted in the election. Rivals estimated the number was two to three million voters. President Maduro declared the result the “biggest ever vote for the revolution.”
One candidate and one opposition leader were among those killed along with two teenagers. A number of police officers were injured after a huge explosion in the capital city of Caracas. Venezuelan soldiers fired rubber bullets and used tear gas as people blocked a highway. The national guard, holding shotguns, patrolled the main roads.
No one opposed President Maduro in the election. People fear he will use the new 545-member assembly to rewrite the constitution, fire officials and tighten his grip on power. In a TV broadcast he said the vote was “the election of a power that’s above and beyond every other.” He warned the opposition, “already has its prison cell waiting.” The president is blamed by many people for overseeing the unraveling of the country’s economy but has promised the assembly will bring peace.
Nikki Haley, America’s ambassador to the United Nations, said the election was a “step toward dictatorship” and that the US would not accept an illegitimate government. The Venezuelan people & democracy will prevail,” she tweeted.