Home / World / Maduro asks world to 'extend its arms' as Venezuela votes on bitterly contested constitutional revamp – Los Angeles Times

Maduro asks world to 'extend its arms' as Venezuela votes on bitterly contested constitutional revamp – Los Angeles Times

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro asked for global acceptance on Sunday as he cast an unusual pre-dawn vote for an all-powerful constitutional assembly that his opponents fear he’ll use to replace his country’s democracy with a single-party authoritarian system.

Accompanied by close advisors and state media, Maduro voted at 6:05 a.m. local time, far earlier and less publicly than in previous elections. The run-up to the vote has been marked by months of clashes between protesters and the government, including the fatal shooting this month of a 61-year-old nurse by men accused of being pro-government paramilitaries during a protest at a church a few hundred feet from the school where Maduro voted.

Maduro and his socialist administration deny links to violent paramilitaries and say the political opposition is responsible for the violence that has left at least 113 dead and nearly 2,000 wounded in four months of protests.

“We’ve stoically withstood the terrorist, criminal violence,” Maduro said. “Hopefully the world will respectfully extend its arms toward our country.”

Source: world

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