CARACAS, Sunday September 26, 2010 | Update
Election 2010
Up to the Minute
Sunday September 26, 2010  08:11 AM

12:22 a.m. President of the opposition Democratic Unified Panel Ramón Guillermo Aveledo: "We know what happened, but we respect the law (which bans publication of election results before the first official bulletin."

12:09 a.m. Director of the National Electoral Council Vicente Díaz on his Twitter account: "Be patient. The contest for some seats is very is tough."

12:07 a.m. Pro-government election campaign team leaves headquarters to meet at the People's Balcony, in Miraflores Palace, the seat of the Venezuelan Executive Office.

12:02 a.m. Opposition leader María Corina Machado on her Twitter account: "It is inexcusable that the CNE has not published the election results. Candidates have known the results for hours now."

11:55 p.m. Opposition Democratic Unified Panel on Twitter account asks Venezuelan election authorities to speed up announcement of electoral results.

11:29 P.M. President Chávez on his Twitter account: "Let us wait! Do not despair (…) Remember (Simón) Bolívar's words: "Prepare for the victory you bear on your spearheads!"

11:14 p.m. Emilio Graterón, mayor of Chacao municipality, says on Twitter that opposition leaders María Corina Machado and Enrique Mendoza are to offer news conference in a few minutes.

11:05 p.m. National Electoral Council to publish first official election results in approximately 30 minutes.

10:44 p.m. Polls took place smoothly in the 126 Venezuelan diplomatic missions in 85 countries, reported the Foreign Ministry.

10:14 p.m. Election witnesses from different political parties meet with directors of the National Electoral Council in vote count room.

9:45 p.m. Directors of the National Electoral Council (CNE) meet in vote count room.

9:38 p.m. Opposition alliance Democratic Unified Panel is issuing a statement once the National Electoral Council broadcasts the first official bulletin of election results.

8:00 p.m. Chávez says in his Twitter account: "Stay alert with consolidation (of victory). Nobody can afford to lower his guard!"

7:50 p.m. In eastern Nueva Esparta state by 7:30 p.m., 90 percent of polling stations closed and started to count ballots, said the Regional Director of CNE, Franklin Caraballo.

7:49 p.m. In northwestern Zulia state, Juan Pablo Mujica, coordinator of dissenting party Primero Justicia, urged Venezuelans to respect the election results within the framework of tolerance and respect.

7:44 p.m. Operational Strategic Command chief Henry Rangel Silva called for increased police patrolling in different cities, in order to guarantee people's safety.

6:42 p.m. Tibisay Lucena, the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), said that the automated election system worked "perfectly." There were only a few problems, she added.

5:15 p.m. According to NGO Ojo Electoral, 84 percent of balloting stations opened by 8:00 a.m. The organization added that "in a significant number of voting sites, different political groups put pressure on voters," said El Universal's reporter Eugenio Martínez. According to Electoral, in 8 percent of polling centers the National Electoral Council's provision that prohibits political propaganda was violated.

4:28 p.m. Socorro Hernández, a director of the National Council Council (CNE), said that turnout has been well above other previous polls in Venezuela.

4:24 p.m. Four young members of NGO Defiende tu Voto (Defend Your Vote) were arrested in coastal Vargas state. They have been retained at the headquarters of the National Guard in the area of Camurí Chico.

4:05 p.m. In the western state of Táchira, some groups of bikers wearing red shirts have been seen in several polling stations in San Cristobal.

3:50 p.m. Cilia Flores and Tania Díaz, candidates for ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) to the National Assembly urged people to vote. The candidates were at the PSUV's situation room.

3:42 p.m. Voters in polling centers located in two Maracaibo city councils (San Francisco and Jesús Enrique Lossada) complained that people wearing red shirts are bullying people. They also said that voters have been taken from different areas of the capital of the state of Zulia, western Venezuela.

3:25 p.m. Ernesto Paraqueima, the former mayor of Simón Rodríguez city hall in Puerto La Cruz (northeastern state of Anzoátegui) was attacked by pro-government supporters in front of troops working at the electoral security and protection operation plan (Plan República).

3:00 p.m. The Strategic Command of the National Armed Forces (Ceofan) reported that four groups of bikers were arrested in the cities of Maracaibo, Valencia, Maracay and Caracas.

2:45 p.m. Venezuelan Minister of Defense Carlos Mata reported that a woman died after she collapsed in the voting line.

2:36 p.m. Barinas' state governor and brother of the Head of State, Adán Chávez, said that ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Psuv) is ready to acknowledge any results in the election and expected the opposition to act likewise.

2:31 p.m. Ex Deputy and current leader of dissenting Podemos party Wilmer Azuaje could not vote because he was not listed in the register of voters.

02:03 p.m. Claims of irregular situation in a polling center located in western Zulia state, where Mayor Mayra Zamora allegedly tried to convince people to vote candidates of the ruling party.

01:53 p.m. Emilio Graterón, the mayor of Chacao municipality, central Miranda state, reported that 40 percent of residents of the municipality under his jurisdiction already voted.

01:29 p.m. The Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on "a significant flow" of voters in most Venezuelan embassies and consulates around the world. There is a total of 57,010 potential voters in 85 countries.

12:49 p.m. Zulia state governor Pablo Pérez Álvarez has voted together with his wife Carolina and two of their three children.

12:46 p.m. President Hugo Chávez arrives in low-income barrio 23 de Enero, ready to vote, driving his car and wearing a jacket with the Venezuelan flag.

12:13 p.m. PSUV director Aristóbulo Istúriz and National Assembly President Cilia Flores went to a polling center in western Caracas, where President Hugo Chávez is expected to appear in a few minutes.

11:50 a.m. Polls in Venezuela's Consulate in Lima, Peru, run fast and smoothly.

11:40 a.m. Polling stations inside Venezuela's Consulate in Madrid, Spain, will close soon. The local time there is 6:00 p.m.

9:44 a.m. In eastern Zulia state, correspondent Teresa Luego reported that the Venezuela-Colombia border would be closed until night.

9:27 a.m. "May the avalanche of votes continue. At this time, a record of open polling centers has been smashed. It is a beautiful day. The homeland is waiting for it," President Hugo Chávez said on his Twitter account.

9:01 a.m. Mérida state governor Marcos Díaz voted in the morning together with his wife and son. He urged people to take part in the parliament election.

8:53 a.m.. At 7:05 a.m., pro-government candidate of election by list for the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello cast his ballot in eastern Monagas state.

7:41 a.m. Sources reported that in northwestern Falcón state, polling centers are starting operations late, mainly due to absence of poll workers.

7:28 a.m. Monsignor Mario Moronta casts his ballot in San Cristóbal, southwestern Táchira State. He stated that that the parliamentary vote is an opportunity for Venezuelans to "reassert their democratic vocation, to let people know that Venezuelans want social peace and to deepen the desire for freedom."

7:25 a.m. Only 40-50% of polling stations have been established in coastal Vargas state, due to the absence of poll workers. El Universal's reporter Nadeska Noriega said that electoral officials refused to replace missing principal poll workers with election witnesses.

7:15 a.m. Polling stations started operations at the Metropolitan University, in Caracas. Delays were attributed to the absence of poll workers.

7:06 a.m. Outside polling sites in La Candelaria, downtown Caracas, voters are waiting in long queues.

7:00 a.m. At San Nicolas de Bari School, located in Guarenas, in the outskirts of Caracas, people are waiting in long lines to cast their ballots.

6:27 a.m. Socorro Hernández, a director of the National Electoral Council (CNE), said that 99.8% of poll workers are in voting centers.

Non-stop extraction of mineral riches

Oil and gas; gold and diamonds; coltan, coal, iron, bauxite, copper: the Venezuelan economy is extractive, as it relies on taking mineral substances from the earth for sale or trade.

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