Two weeks ahead of a proposed, constitutional reform by Venezuelan president, Nicholás Maduro, an unofficial, international, symbolic, protest referendum, partly arranged by the opposition, was held in order to gauge public opinion of the changes.
Maduro is believed by many Venezuelans to be a de facto dictator. The difficulties created by the Venezuelan government’s strict economic policies, rigourous regulation and mismanagement have lead to runaway inflation and severe food shortages within the country, causing continual tension, protests, and incidents of violence. That unpleasant situation has, in turn, caused many the country’s citizens to flee to Trinidad and Tobago in order to live, work, or purchase supplies to return to their families in Venezuela. There are also rumours of illegal smuggling and other illicit activities by some, which may also be a result of the desperate civil situation created by the ostensibly oppressive state.
At the Big Black Box, Murray Street, Woodbrook, ballots were opened to Venezuelan citizens residing in Trinidad to let themselves be counted as being in opposition to Nicholás Maduro’s cabinet. The activities here reflected those across the globe, including Australia; Canada; the US; European countries; and Venezuela itself. Sadly, in Venezuela, there has been news reports of violence, including at least one fatality.