Deaths in the anti-government demonstrations and upheaval climbed to at least 113 on Friday.
An opposition lawmaker, Freddy Guevara, said the struggle against Maduro started before the Constituent Assembly was mooted, and will continue regardless of the election.
The opposition vowed to protest despite a ban on public gatherings issued by Maduro. Across the city, residents said they wanted President Nicolas Maduro out of power but didn't want to risk their lives or livelihoods taking on his government. But the hundreds of thousands who have sometimes taken to the streets during almost four months of anti-government protests were largely absent.
The government has threatened to arrest anyone who takes part in election day protests with prison terms up to 10 years.
The government is encouraging participation with tactics that include offering social benefits like subsidized food to the poor and threatening state workers' jobs if they don't vote.
"We've withstood the global campaign, we've withstood terrorism and criminal violence, and we are here in peace", Maduro said.
"I hope things get better", said Marquez after acknowledging that Venezuelans are experiencing tough economic times. "Hopefully the world will respectfully extend its arms toward our country".
Once one of Latin America's wealthiest nations, Venezuela has spiraled into a devastating crisis during Maduro's four years in power, thanks to plunging oil prices and widespread corruption and mismanagement.Читайте также: India beat Sri Lanka by 304 runs, take 1-0 lead
Recent surveys by the Datanalisis polling firm revealed that over 70 percent of Venezuelans opposed Maduro's proposal of the new assembly to rewrite the 1999 constitution, and 80 percent reject Maduro's leadership altogether.
Unrest in Venezuela, plagued by a political crisis with soaring inflation and daily food shortages, was aggravated in early April after the Supreme Court made a decision to annul the powers of the opposition-controlled parliament.
The 545-member citizens' assembly will be tasked with rewriting the constitution and be empowered to dissolve the opposition-controlled Congress. Mexico, Colombia and Panama also sanctioned the same individuals.
Worldwide pressure to cancel the vote intensified Friday, with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence reiterating in a telephone call with opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez that the United States would respond with "strong and swift economic actions" if the election proceeds.
Maduro's supporters on the Supreme Court set off the protests and clashes between police and demonstrator when they tried to strip the National Assembly of its powers in April.
Clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters have left over 100 people dead and more than 1,300 wounded.
The voting system is also being labelled a fraud - the opposition is urging people to boycott the vote all together, which would leave only Maduro's supporters to carry him into office.При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
«» 2007 - 2017 Copyright.
Автоматизированное извлечение информации сайта запрещено.
Код для вставки в блог