HAVANA TIMES — Venezuelans go to the polls on Sunday to vote for mayors and city council members throughout the country. The vote is the first since Nicolas Maduro won a surprisingly close victory over Henrique Capriles for the presidency back in August of this year in a special election to replace the deceased Hugo Chavez.
The governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela closed its campaign on Thursday in the capital, Caracas. Its candidate for mayor of greater Caracas, Ernesto Villegas, asked public employees of that institution (currently in the hands of the opposition) not to buy stories about alleged plans for layoffs if the current mayor, Antonio Ledezma, is voted out.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Capriles promised to turn this election into a referendum on the administration of President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, who he criticized for the high levels of insecurity and shortages facing the country.
A total of 337 mayors and over 2,500 city councilors are to be elected.
Venezuela is Cuba’s closest political ally and largest trade partner. Therefore events in the South American country are always closely watched on the island.