Voting hurdles: Venezuelans in Miami must travel to NOLA to vote for president.

The Venezuelan consulate in Miami closed amid a political scandal this year, and now some 26,000 Venezuelans living in Florida must travel more than 650 miles to cast ballots.

By , Guest blogger

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    Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez greets supporters after the registration of his presidential bid to the electoral authorities in Caracas on Monday, June 11.
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• A version of this post ran on the author's blog. The views expressed are the author's own

This is Venezuela: A somewhat dysfunctional country in South America led by a religious-like leader known as Hugo Chavez, who leads a "cult" called Bolivarianism. His tribe is called PSUV. Now, Hugo likes to make people believe that Venezuela has a fair Government and is a democracy. Many locals, as well as some foreigners who obviously would not be caught dead living in Venezuela, defend the cult and its “fairness.”

Now, the picture below (see original post) shows the southern part of the US, including Miami, Fla. and New Orleans, La.. There are a lot of Venezuelans living in the southern part of Florida. In fact, 26,000 of them are registered to vote in the Venezuelan Consulate in Miami. Some come form Georgia, but the large majority are near Miami. The right to vote for president, even if you live abroad, is supposed to be a Constitutional guarantee [for Venezuelans]. Over 90 percent of them do not vote for President Hugo Chavez.

Recommended: In Pictures Venezuela after Chavez

The Venezuelan Consul in Miami, was caught in a video earlier this year, conspiring on how to start a cyber attack on US Government computers. This led the US Government to kick her out. The cult leader, Hugo Chavez, decided then to shut down the Consulate in Miami.

Think you know Hugo Chavez? Take our quiz on the Venezuelan president!

This week, the Electoral Board decided that these 26,000 people would have to go and vote in New Orleans, La., which is an 867 mile drive from Miami (as shown in the map) or 651 miles away as the crow flies.

Let’s try to put this in proper perspective: A coach bus fits 53 people. Thus, it would require 490 buses to take them to New Orleans to vote. The line of buses would be about three miles long. The cheapest one way fare I could find costs $107 per person and takes one day, one hour and fifteen minutes to get there. Double that to return.

But there is a better perspective. Suppose that you picked a voter in Maracaibo, Zulia State, a large Western city of Venezuela, and moved him to a voting center 651 miles away. The result would be this (please visit original post for maps).

– Miguel Octavio, a Venezuelan, is not a fan of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. You can read his blog here.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of Latin America bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

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