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Venezuelans choose a new congress

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 01:39s - Published
Venezuelans choose a new congress

Venezuelans choose a new congress

Venezuelans on Sunday choose a new congress in an election that the opposition is boycotting and most Western nations call a fraud by President Nicolas Maduro.

Edward Baran reports.

Polls opened on Sunday (December 6) morning as Venezuelans began choosing a new congress.

It's an election that the opposition is boycotting and most Western nations call a fraud by President Nicolas Maduro to retake the last state institution not in the hands of the ruling Socialist Party.

The vote is almost certain to return congress to Maduro's allies.

That's despite his government struggling with an economy in ruins, aggressive U.S. sanctions that stifle the OPEC nation's oil exports, and the migration of some five million citizens.

Members of the new congress will have few tools to improve the lives of Venezuelans whose monthly salaries rarely cover the cost of a day's groceries.

Nor will their election improve Maduro's reputation among Western nations for mismanagement and undermining of human rights.

It could, however, provide legitimacy for Maduro to offer investment deals to the few companies around the world willing to risk running afoul of Washington's sanctions for access to the world's largest oil reserves.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, head of the current congress, is calling on Venezuelans to skip the vote and participate in a consultation that will ask citizens if they reject Sunday's vote and whether they want a change of government.

Guaido has been recognized by more than 50 countries including the United States as Venezuela's legitimate interim president, after most Western nations disavowed Maduro's 2018 re-election as fraudulent.




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