Activists celebrate Sunday in Caracas after voting in an opposition-organized referendum on President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to rewrite the country’s constitution. Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images
Just two weeks before an election to decide the delegates who will rewrite Venezuela’s national constitution, opposition activists held a symbolic vote of their own on Sunday. In the nonbinding referendum, roughly 98 percent of voters rejected President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to replace the constitution.
More than 7 million Venezuelans voted in the referendum, according to the local university administrators tasked with overseeing the vote. NPR’s Philip Reeves notes that number — which includes nearly 700,000 expatriots who voted overseas — constitutes about a third of Venezuela’s registered voters.
“It’s a way to show how many people are actually against the government, and to give support to people that are actually doing the protests and have been arrested,” expat Andrea de Lima, who participated in South Florida, tells reporter Keyvan Antonio Heydari.
Still, Maduro has vowed that Sunday’s referendum will do nothing to stall a July 30 election for delegates for a constituent assembly, which will be responsible for