The Venezuelan opposition celebrates the 6.5 million voters in its popular consultation

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During the day, violent incidents were registered in twelve states of the country

The Venezuelan opposition has assured this Saturday that 6.5 million Venezuelans have participated in its popular consultation organized in response to the parliamentary elections held last Sunday in the country and those that did not appear because they were considered a “fraud.”

The self-proclaimed “president in charge” of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, said in a tweet that “Venezuela raised its voice. Today’s participation is transformed into commitment and the massive response into hope.”

“Tomorrow be attentive because we will send a message to the country!”, Said Guaidó, who has joined the demonstrations of jubilation by the Venezuelan opposition who claims to have met their objectives of participation in this vote that seeks to denounce “fraud” in the parliamentary elections last Sunday.

With 87.44 percent scrutinized, the opposition assures that 6,466,791 Venezuelans have participated in the consultation: 3,209,714 have done so in person, while 2,412,354 have voted digitally. 844,723 votes have also been counted from outside the country.

These figures are similar to the turnout in last Sunday’s parliamentary elections in which approximately 30 percent of the census voted, which exceeds 20.1 million. However, it is an amount so far less than the one that the same opposition gathered in another consultation carried out in 2017 when they said they had obtained 7.6 million.

The leader of the Popular Will party and member of the organizing committee of the consultation Emilio Graterón has stressed that there will be no trace of participation once the count is finished due to the possible fear of reprisals. “There will not be any trace of participation today, you can rest assured. All notebooks and ballots will be destroyed immediately when the transmission of the totalization ends,” he indicated.

He has also justified the delay in giving the results because much of the country has no electricity supply or access to the Internet and has thanked the approximately 50,000 volunteers involved for their work. “The fraud of December 6 is absolutely and definitely dead. Today the beginning of the path towards the formation of the political commissions necessary for us to have free, fair and verifiable elections in the country very soon was decreed,” he assured.

For her part, the leader of the Primero Justicia party Amelia Belisario has explained that they cannot give the data of those who have abroad because they hope to be able to give them all together and has expressed her certainty that Venezuelans have supported in this consultation the yes they asked the opposition against the “electoral fraud” of December 6, in favor of the calling of free and democratic elections and the request for international help to resolve the Venezuelan crisis.

The opposition had not appeared in the parliamentary elections organized by the Venezuelan government last Sunday, December 6, because they did not trust the process. Nicolás Maduro’s party obtained more than 90 of the deputies of the next General Assembly and regained control of it, until now in the hands of the opposition, in elections not recognized by the European Union or the United States.

Instead of the elections, the opponents organized a consultation in which it is possible to vote digitally since last day 7 and in which this Saturday the opposition leaders in the country and abroad have voted in person, as has been the case of the opposition Leopoldo López from Colombia or the Venezuelan community in Spain.

“They did not bend the spirit of the Venezuelan, we returned the favor, we returned the ball to them, they are the ones who are alone. The fraud is so much fraud that the dictatorship could not fill a square,” Guaidó assured in an appearance after the closing of urns.

VIOLENT INCIDENTS
During the day, the opposition has denounced violent incidents in at least twelve of the 23 states in which the country is administratively divided. The opposition leader Freddy Guevara and a member of the Organizing Committee of the Popular Consultation has pointed to the Maduro Government as the instigator of the repression due to the large influx, according to the Efecto Cocuyo portal.

Among the incidents reported by the opposition are the evictions from voting areas, the seizure of material or visits to voting centers by militias and members of the Security Forces who took photos of those present.

Likewise, Guaidó has denounced that Maduro called a celebration of the triumph of socialism in Sunday’s elections in Caracas to hinder the influx of opponents to the voting center.

“In Aragua there are detainees, in Ciudad Ojeda armed civilians brutally attacked the volunteers (…) armed thugs who threaten the lives of the volunteers.”, The opponent stressed.

SIX DAYS OF TELEMATIC VOTING AND ONE IN-HOUSE
The popular consultation started on December 7 with the opening of participation via the web or mobile application. The voting in person began at 8:00 a.m. (1:00 p.m., Spanish peninsular time), with the opening of 3,033 participation points.

Guaidó has participated in his home state, Vargas, while Leopoldo López has done so in Colombia. The consultation, in which any Venezuelan citizen with a valid or expired identity document or passport can participate, includes three questions: “Do you demand the cessation of the usurpation of the presidency by Nicolás Maduro and call for presidential elections to be held? and free, fair and verifiable parliamentarians? ” it’s the first.

“Do you reject the December 6 event organized by the Nicolás Maduro regime and ask the international community to ignore it?” is the second question. The last one is “Do you order the necessary steps to be taken before the international community to activate cooperation, support and assistance that allow us to rescue our democracy, address the humanitarian crisis and protect the people from crimes against humanity?”

President Nicolás Maduro has downplayed the consultation, which is beyond the control of the National Electoral Council (CNE). “Nobody could think that an Internet consultation has legal, constitutional value, it only has informational value,” Maduro declared last Thursday during an act with the elected deputies.

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