It seems the recent American Airlines grounding isn’t the only obstacle in the way of those wanting to vote in Venezuela’s approaching election.
Chavez shuts down the Miami consulate so Venezuela’s expats trek to New Orleans to vote by the tens of thousands…
Venezuelan citizens living as expatriates in Miami are trekking to New Orleans to vote in Sunday’s election, which sees socialist president Hugo Chavez is in the fight of his political career against centrist challenger Henrique Capriles.
Andrew Morrison, a cofounder of the Venevox Foundation – an apolitical organization dedicated to ensuring “Human Rights and Democratic Values of the Venezuelan people around the World” — told The Daily Caller that his organization has pulled together enough funding to bring between 6,000 and 7,000 people from Miami to New Orleans to vote Sunday. They’re travelling by planes, cars and buses.
“In June of this year, they announced all registered voters in Miami would need to travel to New Orleans to exercise their right to vote,” Morrison said in phone interview from Miami. Morrison said he’s on his way to New Orleans personally.
“When you start analyzing the distance and the complexity of having 19,542 people go all the way to New Orleans, you start realizing it is impeding that right to vote for a large percentage of those voters,” he said. “Why not allow the voting population here in Miami, which is the largest population of registered voters outside of Venezuela, to vote here in Miami? This would be the largest Venezuelan voting center in the world: It’s larger than any voting center in Venezuela.”
Morrison said many more could make the journey to New Orleans on their own.
Venezuela’s government closed its consulate in Miami earlier this year. According to the Associated Press, the Miami mission was closed “after the State Department expelled consul Livia Acosta amid an investigation into recordings that seemed to implicate her in an Iranian plot for a cyber-attack against the U.S.”
“The closure affected nearly 20,000 Venezuelan voters living in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina who had registered to vote at the Miami consulate,” the AP reported. “Most Venezuelan voters in the United States live in the Miami area and the vast majority of those are critical of the Chavez government.”
Meanwhile, when he’s not backing Obama or other democrat politicians, Sean Penn is continually campaigning for Hugo Chavez … and nobody sees any, like, really odd connection there I guess…
It’s no surprise to find actor Sean Penn on the campaign trail these days. The two-time Academy Award winner is a strong backer of President Barack Obama with a history of putting his name and celebrity panache behind left-of-center causes.
But what is starting to raise eyebrows among Americans is Penn’s campaign blessings for another friend in another country: Venezuela’s Marxist President Hugo Chavez, who will face the voters of his country Oct. 7 in a race the whole world is watching. In the past week, Chavez’s strong-armed assaults against opponent Henrique Capriles — one of which resulted in the death of a Capriles campaign worker and the wounding of two others following a rally — has made the Venezuelan election particularly incendiary.
Coupled with Chavez’s own 14-year record of intimidating political enemies, denouncing U.S. opponents, and forging alliances with America-haters from Havanna to Tehran, his behavior in his re-election makes one wonder why any American would campaign for him.
But Penn has done so, just as he has stumped for political allies in this country.
On Sunday Aug. 19, Penn was the special guest at a private fund-raising event on behalf of Dr. Raul Ruiz, the Democratic nominee for Congress in California’s 45th District. Although Ruiz is challenging Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack in a Palm Springs-based district, the event on his behalf featuring Penn was held in a private residence in Los Angeles with the “address given upon RSVP.” Tickets for a sponsor cost $2500 and $500 for a “general supporter.”
The timing of Penn’s appearance to raise funds for Ruiz was particularly interesting, since it occurred days after he had returned from a campaign visit on behalf of Venezuela’s Chavez. Penn joined the Marxist strongman on stage at a mass rally in the Venezuelan town of Valencia.
The whole embrace of Mary Bono Mack’s Democratic opponent Ruiz by a friend of Chavez gets particularly interesting when one considers that the Venezuelan’s strongest critic in the U.S. House is the congresswoman’s husband, Florida Rep. — and Senate nominee — Connie Mack. “Thugocrat” is what Mack brands Chavez.