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News and Analysis

Since the trumpets and fireworks woke up Venezuelans at three o'clock yesterday morning to vote in a national referendum on whether to amend the constitution to abolish the two-term limit on all elected offices, the electoral process has been tranquil, democratic, and efficient.

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Today Venezuelans will go to the polls to vote for or against an amendment to the constitution to eliminate the two-term limit on all elected offices. Both sides rallied, marched, attended concerts, and participated in motorcades on Thursday and Friday, to close off their campaigns.

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Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) announced that the auditing and setup of the country’s 35,000 voting centers was finished on Friday, and the Venezuelan Armed Forces announced that 140,000 soldiers will guarantee voters’ safety as they go to the polls today.

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Following on from the brutal killing of workers at the Mitsubishi plant in Venezuela, yesterday three workers were shot at as they drove through the town of Barcelona. Fortunately they were not injured, but we must step up the campaign of solidarity to stop these attacks.

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We reproduce here an article from Red Pepper's Venezuela blog that criticises Francisco Toro's concept of democracy. Contrary to Francisco Toro, who claims that Venezuela suffers from "Savage democracy", Samuel Grove considers the democratic record of the last 10 years of revolution to be something to celebrate.

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On Tuesday industrial workers, workers from the service sector and from the state sector, together with members of dozens of communal councils, marched through the streets of Barcelona to condemn the killing of two Mitsubishi workers the week before.

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To celebrate 10 years in government President Hugo Chavez declared February 2 a public holiday, seeing thousands rallying and celebrating around the country, and shops, schools, and banks closed.

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On Wednesday, representatives of Venezuela and the United States to the Organization of American States (OAS) shared concerns about last Saturday’s attack on a prominent synagogue in Caracas and accused each other’s governments of playing a role in the incident. Also, the Venezuelan foreign relations minister met with representatives of the Venezuelan Jewish community to offer condolences and to guarantee a successful investigation.

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Workers accuse the police of shooting two fellow workers on January 29 who were participating in the occupation of a Mitsubishi plant in Barcelona, Anzoategui state. We publish here a report by Venezuelanalysis.

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