A woman casts her ballot at a polling station during Mayoral Elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Dec.10, 2017. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
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Venezuelans voted Sunday in mayoral races that the ruling Socialist Party is likely to win, deepening opposition splits and consolidating President Nicolas Maduro's position ahead of a likely 2018 reelection campaign.Major opposition parties are boycotting the elections for 335 municipal mayors around the South American nation of 30 million people, protesting a system they say serves Maduro's "dictatorship". But some small parties in the Democratic Unity coalition have dissented and run candidates, confusing opposition supporters already disillusioned at the failure to weaken Maduro in months of protests that claimed 125 lives earlier this year.Venezuela under Maduro's rule has witnessed one of the most profound economic meltdowns in Latin American history, and he has been accused by countries around the world of creating a dictatorship.Still, he is enjoying a political upturn after the October gubernatorial vote.
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