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Venezuela’s opposition reports referendum participants doubled boycotted election

BOGOTA – Nicolas Maduro’s opposition reported 6.5 million Venezuelans around the world participated in a symbolic referendum to express their desire to oust Maduro and accept international aid.

The referendum included the use of a mobile phone app and makeshift polling stations. It was a response to Venezuela’s recent National Assembly elections, which the opposition boycotted and had a reported turnout of more than 3.4 million voters.

Some Venezuelans are questioning the legitimacy of both the national assembly elections, which include victories by Maduro’s wife and son, and the opposition’s referendum, which sends a sign to the President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration.

Juan Guaido, the leader of the opposition in Venezuela, supported participation in Caracas and Leopoldo Lopez, a Venezuelan exile and former political prisoner, voted at a polling station in Bogota, Colombia.

Guaido’s immunity as the leader of the National Assembly ends on Jan. 5. While Guaido has had the backing of the U.S., Maduro continues to have the support of China, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Cuba.

Torres contributed to this report from Miami.


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