CARACAS, Friday September 28, 2012 | Update

Venezuelans in Miami do whatever it takes to cast their votes

Non-profit organization helps residents travel from Florida to New Orleans at a fair price

Venezuelan voters in Miami organize to cast their votes in the upcoming presidential election (Handout photo: Jose Caruc)
Friday September 28, 2012  11:48 AM
Within the framework of the Venezuelan presidential election to be held on October 7, as many as 19,542 Venezuelans living in Miami are to travel to New Orleans to cast their votes as the Venezuelan Consulate in Miami was shut down early in January. 

Contrary to other occasions, this time Venezuelan voters residing in Miami will have to afford travel expenses and take off to New Orleans, 1,400 kilometers from Miami (14 hours by car and almost two hours by plane) to cast their votes and return to their city, BBC Mundo reported.  

Vanessa Durán from non-profit organization VotoDondeSea (Vote at any cost) explained that the trip implied some expenses that not everyone would be able to afford.

Two weeks ago, an initiative called "Potazo por la Unidad" (Fund Collection for Unity) to raise money and help people willing to vote was undertaken. So far, they have managed to organize 10 buses to hold 500 people. "Some of the buses have been donated by entrepreneurs, but we still need another 20 to help 1,500 people seeking help," said Pedro Mena, head of the opposition Democratic Unified Panel (MUD) in Miami.

VotoDondeSea added that the transport service would cost USD 75 only.

Most buses will depart from Miami on October 6 in the afternoon and return on Sunday 7 after people have cast their votes. Some transportation companies are offering special packages, including transportation, economical phone calls to Venezuela, accommodation, meals, etc. at different costs.

Translated by Jhean Cabrera
Living with HIV/AIDS (II)

At first she agreed that I use her real name, that she had no problems with that at all. After all, living with HIV had driven her to help others – as a workshop facilitator giving talks and conducting seminars, or as a volunteer for local AIDS Service Organizations like Acción Solidaria (Solidary Action) and Mujeres Unidas por la Salud (Women United for Health, or Musa), a support group network for HIV-positive women. But when we were well into the interview, the realization that she might lose her private health insurance coverage made her change her mind.

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