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  • A woman holds a sign that reads "On July 30, the Constituent Assembly will happen" during a rally in Caracas.

    A woman holds a sign that reads "On July 30, the Constituent Assembly will happen" during a rally in Caracas. | Photo: Facebook / Delcy Rodriguez

Published 29 July 2017

Venezuelans prepare for a key election on Sunday to choose representatives to the National Constituent Assembly.

The electoral system in Venezuela is "one of the safest, most reliable and transparent in the world," said the president of the country's National Electoral Council, CNE, ahead of Sunday's vote for the National Constituent Assembly.

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The head of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena, said Friday that the fingerprint-based voting process is automated and guaranteed that the rule of "one elector, one vote" will be in place. The rule prohibits voters from voting more than once.

Lucena said the election process for the National Constituent Assembly is audited by local and international entities, and that her organization will ensure and protect the Venezuelan people's right to vote, despite recent threats by the opposition to stage violent protests and prevent the election. 

"We continue to implement security measures to guarantee Venezuelans the extra security we are accustomed to," Lucena said in an interview.

The CNE leader said the voting centers will transmit voter data to a server that will inform them whether the person is eligible to vote.

"We will be checking people coming from other centers (...) so we can know if people are authorized to vote," Lucena said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada said the U.S. government and the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, were responsible for a destabilizing campaign in Venezuela by opposing the elections.

The opposition in Venezuela had previously asked the government to call for a National Constituent Assembly to change the country's constitution and demanded elections. But now they oppose it and have called for a boycott of the process.

"Venezuela has been systematically attacked by the U.S. empire in its attempt to show a state of ungovernability and crisis in the country," Moncada said. Moncada also referred to the recent sanctions imposed by the United States, which he called a "violation of democracy."

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"The United States openly violates international law and attacks the countries of the region. We are in the middle of a systematic operation that uses violence as a mechanism," Moncada said. "For the U.S. empire, any democratic process is a threat, which is why it attacks our institutions and officials."

"What we are asking from the U.S. government is respect," Moncada added.

Echoing Moncada's claims, former Prime Minister of Spain Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero called for peace ahead of the National Constituent Assembly. Zapatero, a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, has participated in talks between Venezuelan government officials and members of the right-wing opposition to seek reconciliation.

"After the loss of more than a hundred lives, I reaffirm that only negotiations can provide a solution to the serious crisis that exists in Venezuela," he said.

"I urge the various leaders and actors to respond positively to the aspirations for peace, democracy and coexistence of Venezuelan citizens."

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