MIAMI (AP) — U.S.-based Venezuelans are traveling en masse to New Orleans in the coming days, spending hundreds of dollars and in some cases more than a day of their time just to cast a vote in their country’s presidential election.
The government of President Hugo Chavez earlier this year closed the country’s consulate in Miami, where most Venezuelans in the U.S. live and have cast ballots in the past. It later said voters would have to travel to New Orleans to participate on Oct. 7.
It’s a hardship in terms of time and money for many potential voters. But some, especially those who want to stop Chavez from being re-elected after 13 years in power, are determined to make the 870-mile (1,400-kilometer) trek by bus and car, commercial flight and charter.