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Canada blocking Venezuela expats from voting in weekend presidential election

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CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela says Canada is blocking its citizens living there from voting in the South American nation’s weekend presidential election.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on Wednesday called Canada’s decision hostile and urged its government to reconsider.

President Nicolas Maduro seeks a second term in Sunday’s election, which Canada, the U.S. and others reject as illegitimate.

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Arreaza says Canada won’t allow voting to take place inside the Venezuelan Embassy and consulates.

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Canadian officials confirmed their decision to The Associated Press.

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They say Maduro is to blame for failing to allow his people to freely express their democratic rights, such as banning the leading opposition parties from participating.

The officials say Venezuela also missed a deadline for asking to open the polling places.

Officials say more than 5,000 Venezuelans live in Canada.

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