Watch: Student Protesters Say Venezuela Election was Fraudulent

Share
Copy

Students banging pots, and shouting "fraud", gathered at a busy Caracas intersection on Monday night, to protest election results in the tropical country.

Venezuelans re-elected President Hugo Chavez to a third consecutive six-year term on Sunday, granting him 55 percent of the vote, according to the country's National Electoral Council.

The opposition candidate Henrique Capriles quickly accepted the result. But on Sunday night and throughout Monday, reports that votes were manipulated began to circulate on social media sites like Twitter.

This prompted some Venezuelans to express their distaste with the country's electoral system, and create a hashtag called #fraudeVenezuela, which became a trending topic.

The Monday night protest was made up of about 250 people, mostly university students, in Caracas' Altamira neighborhood.

"We're tired of being stepped on," said Ligia Cabruja, an audiovisual production student at a local university. "Six more years of this government would be an abuse a dictatorship," added the student, who pointed out that Chavez has held power in Venezuela since 1999.

Students at the protest spoke about a report that is circulating online which claims that 2.9 million votes in Venezuela were not properly counted. Venezuela's opposition leaders have dismissed such information.

The protest was not backed by opposition leaders either.

In fact, Angel Oropeza a political analysts that backs Capriles, attempted to dissuade people from believing in messages of electoral fraud during an interview on the Globovision TV channel. Oropeza suggested that messages about election fraud, could even be part of a plot to create fractures within the Venezuelan opposition.

But such warnings did not seem to deter demonstrators.

"What they are doing is counterproductive," said Gloria Salazar, a Capriles supporter in her late 20s, who volunteered as a witness at a voting center in Caracas on Sunday. "If we do these sorts of things, we are jeopardizing the credibility of Henrique Capriles. And we are discouraging people from [participating in] the next election," Salazar said.

The protest began at around 6 p.m., but continued -- with smaller numbers -- throughout the night, with students burning trash to block off the avenue where they were voicing their complaints.

"We're not here for Capriles," Cabruja said at around 11:30 p.m. as rumors circulated that armed motorcycle riders that support the government were gathering nearby. "We are here because we want to bring an end to this dictatorship."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
 
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Year In Pictures
Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: James Franco and Seth Rogen in The Interview.
Ed Araquel/Sony/Columbia Pictures/AP Photo
PHOTO: Patrick Crawford is pictured in this photo from his Facebook page.
Meteorologist Patrick Crawford KCEN/Facebook
PHOTO: George Stinney Jr., the youngest person ever executed in South Carolina, in 1944, is seen in this undated file photo.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History/AP Photo