Venezuelans in Austin turn out for non-binding vote

Venezuelans in Austin turned out to take part in a non-binding vote at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park on Sunday, July 16, 2017. (KXAN/Frank Martinez)
Venezuelans in Austin turned out to take part in a non-binding vote at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park on Sunday, July 16, 2017. (KXAN/Frank Martinez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Venezuelans across the United States cast ballots in a non-binding vote, and there was a big turnout for it in Austin at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park.

It’s all against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to rewrite the country’s constitution.

They say Maduro is trying to make changes so he can pick government supporters who would eliminate the few remaining checks on his power.

They say he wants to create a Cuba-style system dominated by his socialist party.

Those who took part in the vote, say it’s important to show solidarity with those still living there.

“United States has given some refugee status to some of them, as well as Europe, as well as Canada,” said Elizabeth Gunz, Secretary for the Austin Venezuela Association. “Everybody, Venezuela – it’s everywhere right now. And we are not a country that we used to do that. We are a country that we like our country, we prefer to live in our country in peace. But the problem is if I cannot live there, if everyone is killing me on the street, if you see videos are horrible about what is going on.”

The symbolic vote has no legal impact.

The government calls the opposition vote a manipulation aimed at destabilizing the country.

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