Venezuelans appear to abstain from vote as a silent protest
CARACAS, VENEZUELA » Venezuelans appeared to be abstaining in massive numbers on Sunday in a show of silent protest against a vote to select a constitutional assembly giving the government virtually unlimited powers.
Associated Press journalists toured more than two dozen polling places in neighborhoods across the capital, including many traditional strongholds of the ruling socialist party in southern and western Caracas. Virtually all the polling places saw hourslong lines of thousands of people in past elections over the last two decades of socialist government.
One site, a sports and cultural complex known as the Poliedro, had several thousand people waiting about two hours to vote. Of the dozens of others sites seen by the AP, two in the loyalist-heavy neighborhood of El Valle had lines of approximately 200 to 400 people. All the others had at most a couple of dozen voters, and many had less than a half-dozen or were completely empty.