July 17, 2017 / 4:01 AM / 9 days ago

Venezuela opposition vote monitors say 7.2 million people cast ballots

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Venezuelan residents wait to cast their votes during an unofficial plebiscite against President Nicolas Maduro's government in Bogota, Colombia July 16, 2017.Jaime Saldarriaga

CARACAS (Reuters) - Nearly 7.2 million Venezuelans participated in an informal plebiscite organized on Sunday by the opposition against leftist President Nicolas Maduro's government, according to academics monitoring the vote.

That was not far off the total opposition vote of 7.7 million votes in Venezuela's December 2015 parliamentary elections and was hailed by Maduro's foes as a resounding expression of popular discontent against him.

Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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