Venezuelan-Americans react to Chavez's re-election
DORAL, Fla. (WSVN) -- Venezuelan-Americans in South Florida are crying foul after Hugo Chavez celebrated his re-election in Caracas.
According to Venezuelan officials, Hugo Chavez won the election against Henrique Capriles with 54 percent of the votes in his favor. This has reportedly been Chavez's most difficult opponent to date. "Not a word to describe this because of the fraud," said Javier Naranjo. "Everyone on this bus thought that it was fraud."
Naranjo is one of several local Venezuelans who returned by bus in Doral, Monday morning, after a 15-hour trek to New Orleans to cast ballots for the Venezuelan election. The group left Saturday afternoon for the 15-hour bus ride to New Orleans after the Venezuelan Miami Consulate was shut down when the U.S. expelled a diplomat.
Myra Martinez also voted in New Orleans for the Venezuelan election and was dismayed by the results. "It has to be [fraud] because there is no explanation for it," she said. "The number of votes in Venezuela, even CNN released some numbers, and nothing is making sense."
Many of those who traveled to New Orleans to cast their ballots wanted Chavez out. Out of the 8,351 votes cast in that city by Venezuelan-Americans, only two votes went to Chavez.
Now some are alleging fraud in this election and others are worried what another six years means for their families in the South American country. "I've been living on that bus for that last two days, and you just hope the best for the country, but we're going to have to be patient, since it's not going to happen yet ," said Jaime Perez.
"We love Venezuela," said Christina Keller.
As far as returning to New Orleans in six years to vote again, Keller is unsure. "I don't know if this is the way we should go about change. I'm not sure," she said.
Chavez has been in power for 13 years so far in Venezuela. He will now be serving another six-year term.
Many Venezuelan-American are disheartened by Chavez's re-election and said the six-year term means more misery for their families.
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