Thousands of Venezuelan citizens living in the southern United States are gathering outside New Orleans to vote in their presidential election. The contest will decide the successor to the late Hugo Chavez, who died last month.
More than 8,000 people are expected to cast ballots for either Chavez’ vice president Nicolas Maduro, or opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.
In elections held in New Orleans in October, Capriles won 98 percent of the vote, but he lost the overall contest by about 10 percent. It was the closest anyone came to Chavez during his 14 years in office.
Most Venezuelans living in the United States reside in the Miami area, but Chavez closed that consulate last year during a political dispute involving Iran. Venezuelan officials say the polls will remain open until all voters cast their ballots.