Venezuelans brace for unrest ahead of Sunday vote

The Venezuelan government is preparing to hold a controversial election on Sunday, and security forces are out on the streets of Caracas trying to keep the peace before the vote. Nathan Frandino reports.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA (Reuters) – Security personnel are on patrol at voting precincts in Venezuela, ahead of the election of a legislative super-body on Sunday.

President Nicolas Maduro ordered the vote – aimed at selecting a so-called “constituent assembly.”

He has said it is for rewriting the country’s constitution, but his critics call it a rigged ballot meant to consummate a dictatorship.

On the streets of Caracas, resident Raul Perez isn’t putting any faith in the vote.


“I don’t think anything will change. I think everything will stay the same, with the same problems as always.”

Often violent protests have gripped the recession-hit country for months now.

More than 110 people have died in clashes with security forces.

The government has banned protests over the weekend, in the hopes of achieving a smooth election, something resident Oswaldo Lepaje supports.


“I’m going to vote early and then I am going to protect the voting centers with a group of people who will be doing that so nothing happens and so nothing happens to those who want to exercise their human and constitutional right to vote.”

The opposition is boycotting the election and urging its supporters to protest in the streets.

Polls are expected to open at 7 a.m. on Sunday.