Venezuelans vote for opposition presidential candidate

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

From left: Danny Chan, Orlando Chan, of Selia Rodriguez de Chan, Mariglee Mora de Chan, Vanessa Martinez de Chan travelled from Arima to Chaguanas to participate in the Venezuelan opposition primaries at a polling station at Langdons Language Institute, on Sunday. PHOTO BY GREVIC ALVARADO – GREVIC ALVARADO

TWO hundred and fifty Venezuelans living in TT voted to select an opposition candidate to face sitting president Nicolas Maduro in their country’s upcoming presidential elections at a polling station in Chaguanas on Sunday.

The polling station at the Langdons Language Institute, Chaguanas, opened from 7.30 am to 5 pm and was one of 87 voting centres used for the primary in 80 cities from 30 countries across the world.

The turnout at the Chaguanas centre represented 25 per cent of the 1,000 Venezuelans in TT who were eligible to participate.

President of the local electoral commission Sofia Figueroa León said the turnout was encouraging.

“I am very happy the Venezuelan community came out in large numbers to vote for the beginning of change in Venezuelan politics.”

Figueroa Leon said, despite the difficulties that many had in reaching the polling stations, many Venezuelans still decided to vote.

“It is not easy for a migrant to move between cities on a Sunday because of the financial expenses that this entails. Many are far from Chaguanas and it was difficult for them to move around.”

Elizabeth Zambrano is the first to cast her ballot in the Venezuelan opposition primary at a polling station at Langdons Language Institute, Chaguanas, on Sunday. PHOTO BY GREVIC ALVARADO

She highlighted the work of the electoral team.

“There is team has already begun to work electorally, and this is just the beginning. The presidential elections are coming and this group of people plus others who will join in the coming months, will help Venezuelans in TT cast important votes.”

The polling station had three tables and the voting process was quick.

Danny Chan said he travelled from Arima with his entire family just to vote.

“It is a commitment to my country for the future of our children. It is time to begin change in Venezuela and that is achieved with the individual responsibility of each person.”

Manuela Ortega said it was important for her to cast her vote.

“This is a job for all Venezuelans. We want to return home. We want Venezuela to improve, and this will be achieved by voting in elections against the current government.”

Angela Perez said it was the right time to take part in the Venezuelan election process.

“There are negotiations between the government and the opposition with the supervision of the United States. Now it is up to the people to support the opposition in order to defeat the government.”

The final results of Sunday’s primary will be announced by the National Primary Commission in Venezuela. The winner is expected to face Maduro in a presidential election in the latter half of 2024 that will choose the country’s new leader for a six-year term set to begin on January 10, 2025.

The opposition electoral ballot is made up of thirteen pre-candidates: Delsa Solorzano, Tamara Adrian, Gloria Pinho, María Corina Machado, Andres Caleca, Andres Velasquez, Capriles Radonski, Carlos Prosperi, Cesar Almeida, Cesar Perez Vivas, Freddy Superlano, Luis Farias and Roberto Enriquez.

However, Radonski, Superlano and Enriquez have withdrawn from the election.