In May, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced he would create the Constituent National Assembly, which would have the power to make changes to the Venezuelan Constitution. It is believed the move could set the groundwork for turning Venezuela into a one-party state. The opposition party criticized the announcement as a distraction created to confuse Venezuelans. The vote for the Constituent National Assembly is taking place on July 30 and state assembly members have been told that they have to vote on the measure or risk being fired. Before the vote for the assembly, the opposition party set up a nonbinding referendum that Venezuelan to “vote” and show their opposition the constitutional rewrite.
The opposition vote drew 7.2 million Venezuelans July 16.
Maybe it fell short of hyped projections but 7+ million votes is a lot for a symbolic act of protest w real no teeth https://t.co/puzlwaLolE
— Nick Miroff (@NickMiroff) July 17, 2017
Venezuelans overwhelmingly voted against Maduro’s proposal of creating an assembly to rewrite the constitution. The last time Venezuela’s constitution was rewritten was in 1999, when Hugo Chavez first took office in Venezuela. Opponents then worried that the restructuring of Venezuela’s government could lead to a dictatorship, according to The Guardian.
Venezuelans around the world took part in this symbolic vote.
— Lorenda Reddekopp (@CBCLorenda) July 16, 2017
Venezuelans turned out in Los Angeles, New York City, and Miami casting votes on the measure to show solidarity against the measure. There have been reports of a nurse being shot and killed while waiting to vote in Caracas, the capital.
The results of the vote rebuking the rewrite to the constitution was received with praise by many leaders and politicians.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 17, 2017
According to The Washington Post, leaders from several countries have announced praise for the size of the referendum and pressed for free and fair elections. Sean Spicer, the spokesperson for the White House, told The Washington Post that the vote is an “unmistakable statement that they made and delivered to their government.”
READ: After Three Years As A Political Prisoner, The Leader Of The Opposition In Venezuela Is Under House Arrest