SOUTH FLORIDA (CBSMiami) – Venezuelans across South Florida are headed to New Orleans to vote in the first presidential election since the death of Hugo Chavez.

With the consulate closed in Miami, Venezuelans who used to cast their ballots there must travel 800 miles to the nearest Venezuelan consulate – 12 hours away.

By bus or by plane, voters headed out Friday morning for the vote, which is scheduled for Sunday.

Hugo Chavez’s protégé, Nicolas Maduro, will face off against opposition leader Enrique Capriles for the presidency.

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