Venezuela vote puts pressure on Maduro Jul 17, 2017 0 498 12345 AFPCARACASHUNDREDS of thousands of Venezuelans cast ballots Sunday in a symbolic vote seen likely to reject plans by President Nicolas Maduro to rewrite the constitution, upping pressure on the beleaguered leader after months of violent street protests.The call to polls -- described as a"plebiscite"by the opposition, but"illegal"by the government -- is over Maduro's intention to have a citizens'body elected to redraft the country's basic law.To detract from the opposition vote, his government on Sunday was holding a dry-run simulation of that election, which is to be held on July 30.Several Latin American countries and the Catholic Church have criticized the move to draw up a new constitution, while the opposition has slammed it as bid by Maduro to concentrate dictatorial powers to stay in power.Many voters, wearing white or the colors of the Venezuelan flag, turned up early to the 14,000 makeshift voting tables set up under tents across the country."We are turning out to show our discontent with the government,"said 49-year-old Tibisay Mendez."We can't find medicines, every day there is less food in the country. And they (Maduro and his officials) only want to hold on to power. We are voting to get them out,"she said.The electoral struggle is being played out against a backdrop of pro- and anti-Maduro demonstrations -- which have left nearly 100 people dead since April 1 -- and a near-collapse of the oil-rich nation's economy. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES Secret Service rejects suggestion it vetted Trump son's meeting Jul 17, 2017 0 280 Trump on offensive as Russia revelations seem to take toll Jul 17, 2017 0 325 Healthcare vote delayed over McCain surgery Jul 17, 2017 0 222 Trump losing public support: Poll AFP WASHINGTON PUBLIC support for President Donald Trump is dropping, a poll showed Sunday, as he faces multiple setbacks over his stalled agenda and efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. Nearly six months since he .. Huge California wildfire spreads overnight as firefighters dig in REUTERS LOS ANGELES FIREFIGHTERS battled on Sunday to gain control of a destructive wildfire burning near Santa Barbara, California that mushroomed in size overnight, pushed by gusty offshore winds into dry brush that .. US SC gives Hawaii until Tuesday to answer Trump travel ban motion REUTERS WASHINGTON THE US Supreme Court has asked the State of Hawaii to respond by Tuesday at noon to President Donald Trump's motion to block a judge's ruling that prevented his travel ban from being applied to .. Brazil's Lula says people will decide his fate Sao PAULO BRAZIL'S former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Saturday that voters would decide his fate, shrugging off his graft conviction and insisting he was still in the presidential race. It was .. Trump appoints special counsel to manage Russia probe WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump on Saturday announced the appointment of a former federal prosecutor as special counsel, with US media reporting that he would manage issues linked to the Russia probe. The brief ..