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
Whose victim am I?

They are marching in step to the same tune. There is a coordinated effort to position the idea. The Twitter hashtag  #YoSoyVictimaDeLaGuarimba (I'm a victim of "guarimbas", or protest barricades) can be read on all pro-government Twitter accounts, including those of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the National Assembly's Press Office, the state-run food distribution network PDVAL, state airline Conviasa, the Venezuelan embassies in foreign countries, radio stations and the huge media network responsive to the Government's interests and messages.

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