More governments dismiss Venezuela assembly vote

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The latest on Venezuela’s political crisis and the vote for a constitutional assembly (all times local):

6:50 p.m.

A growing number of countries are vowing not to recognize the results of Venezuela’s divisive election of a constituent assembly that could dramatically reshape the South American nation’s government.

Officials from Argentina, Peru and the United States said Sunday that their governments would not recognize the vote, following similar statements from Colombia and Panama.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has tweeted that the vote a “sham election” that takes Venezuela “another step toward dictatorship.”

Peru’s government says the vote violates the Venezuelan constitution and deepens already significant divides within society.

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3:40 p.m.

Venezuela’s chief prosecutor’s office is reporting three deaths on the day of a controversial vote for a constituent assembly that opposition leaders fear will trigger the end of democracy in Venezuela.

The office tweeted that 28-year-old Angelo Mendez and 39-year-old Eduardo Olave were killed at a protest Sunday in Merida. Thirty-year-old Ricardo Campos was killed in a separate incident in Sucre.

Few details were provided on the deaths.

Leaders with the opposition Democratic Action party on Twitter identified Campos as the group’s youth secretary in Sucre, a state in northern Venezuela east of the nation’s capital.

The deaths bring to at least 116 those killed in nearly four months of political upheaval.

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1:10 p.m.

Venezuelans appear to be abstaining in massive numbers in a show of silent protest against a vote to select a constitutional assembly giving the government virtually unlimited powers. Across the capital on Sunday, dozens of polling places were empty or had a few dozens or hundreds of people outside, orders of magnitude less than the turnout in recent elections.

An Associated Press reporter toured more than two dozen polling places in neighborhoods across the capital, including many traditional strongholds of the ruling socialist party in southern and western Caracas. Virtually all the polling places had seen hours-long lines of thousands of people in the elections of the last two decades of the socialist administration.

One site, a sports and cultural complex known as the Poliedro, had several thousand people waiting about two hours to vote, many having traveled from opposition-dominated neighborhoods where polling places were closed. Of the dozens of others…

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