Majority reject Maduro's plan to amendments to Venezuelan constitution

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro waves during a parade to celebrate the 206th anniversary of Venezuela's independence in Caracas

The opposition said 7,186,170 Venezuelans participated in a symbolic referendum rejecting President Nicolas Maduro's plans for the July 30 election of an assembly that would remake the country's political system.

The latest fatality came on Sunday when gunmen shot a 61-year-old woman in a crowd of opposition voters in the poor Caracas neighborhood of Catia.

Meanwhile, the opposition praised the vote as proof that Venezuelans demand democratic change.

However, it fell short of the opposition's 7.7 million-vote showing in 2015 legislative elections and the 7.5 million votes that brought Maduro to power in 2013.

"The result is a remarkable show of force for Venezuela's opposition", New York-based Torino Capital said, noting participation also meant openly defying the government.

"There's kids dying because they are starving, there's no food, there's no medicine", Cabrera said.

I'm not sure there is any going backwards from here.

The lines outside the Watsco Center at the University of Miami stretched as far as the eye could see as Venezuelans turned out in full force all across South Florida to reject the government's controversial plan to rewrite the constitution.

"Overall this vote, I think, makes it hard for the government to just proceed as planned", Smilde said. "I think it could lead to real chaos within the government".

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada said on Twitter that he is declaring Fox persona non grata for conspiring to promote violence foreign intervention.

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Maduro held his own rehearsal vote for the constituent assembly on Sunday, which may have dented turn out for the opposition's referendum as more than two million state workers were encouraged to attend. Moncada did not provide evidence to back his claims.

The chief prosecutor's office confirmed Escot - who was a nurse - had been killed and four others wounded in the incident.

Calling it "a hymn to peace", Maduro said the people of Venezuela through their extensive participation in the constituent electoral process have shown that the way to solve the country's problems is through peace.

Separately, journalist Luis Olavarrieta was kidnapped, robbed and beaten by what he said was a a group of government supporters, but managed to escape. "Today we're following his legacy, with President Nicolas Maduro ..."

"So for us it's binding", Di Giovanni says, "and we are following the constitution".

At an opposition site nearby, Juan Madriz, a 45-year-old insurance company employee, said he didn't object to rewriting the constitution per se, but rejected Maduro's decision to do so without putting that decision to a vote, as his predecessor Hugo Chavez did. "There's no separation of powers, no freedom of expression".

In asking the question in the unofficial referendum what role the military should play in the current crisis, the opposition appears to be trying to apply pressure on parts of the military to break with Maduro.

"Prisoners are persecuted in front of arbitrary military tribunals, violating the Constitution...as if they were unsafe animals", they added. The people expressed themselves and told the Executive what they want: they want peace.

He said some media had passed off photos of government supporters participating in the practice run as if they were opposition sympathisers at their referendum event. The government blames the crisis on an economic war waged by its opponents and outside backers.

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