Venezuelans vow to travel to New Orleans to vote

AP News
Posted: Mar 13, 2013 4:42 PM

MIAMI (AP) — Venezuelans in Miami are mounting a campaign to travel to New Orleans to vote in their country's presidential election to replace the late Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela's leftist president died March 5 after a two-year battle with cancer, prompting an election now scheduled in the South American country for April 14.

The largest concentration of Venezuelans in the U.S. lives in South Florida. But Venezuelan expatriates have been unable to vote in Florida since Chavez closed the Miami consulate in 2012.

Nearly 8,500 Venezuelans voted in New Orleans in the last election in October, won by Chavez. Most voted for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. This time, civic leaders are again contracting buses, arranging discounted tickets and recruiting volunteers to encourage voting.

Chavez's hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, is highly favored to win.