|After more than two years of economic war and sabotage against the Venezuelan people with international and national private media blaming the government of Nicolas Maduro for everything, the first serious opinion poll regarding the upcoming parliamentary elections has finally been published by International Consulting Services (ICS).
The poll was conducted amongst 1300 respondents in 20 out of 24 states between February 10 – 20. In response to the question “If parliamentary elections were tomorrow for whom would you vote?” the results of the poll put the United Socialist Party of Venezuela leading the pack with 46% of vote intention; the opposition MUD 31% and don’t knows 24%. (Figures do not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding).
With inflation running at around 68%, the local currency under pressure from speculators and frustrating shortages of subsidized food stuffs and personal hygiene products irritating the public, one would think that the government would have suffered much more. This is especially when the whole economic attack is backed up by an aggressive and negative media campaign bolstered by incredible social media mendacity and invention.
For at least three months, broadsheet newspapers such as El Nacional have been pumping the myth that President Maduro’s popularity and approval ratings have plunged to anywhere in the 18% to 25% range. The implications are that:
These are facts that the “wishful thinking brigade” like to ignore while concentrating their efforts upon destroying the economy and blackening the name of Venezuela in every possible way at home and abroad. The aim is simple: undermine the government with the objective of taking the reins of power, either electorally or by unconstitutional means with the backing of the US and its millions of dollars of finance.
I saw a video of twice defeated ex-presidential candidate Henrqiue Capriles talking with his supporters, lying through his teeth when he said that the government had only 20% support and that the opposition 80% had to get organized for the elections later this year.
Any sixth grader will tell you that with 80% support there is no need to organize as the result is a foregone conclusion!
More Reflections and Questions
Back in 2002, when President Chavez was briefly ousted, it was obvious that the coupsters had not considered or were totally ignorant of the depth of support for chavismo in the country. In other words, their media campaign against Chavez was so rabid that the opposition believed it themselves and received the shock of their lives when 11 million people took to the streets nationwide demanding Chavez’s return. (Note: the 11 million figure was estimated by Chavez himself after the coup failed and based on a conglomeration of local reports from all over the country).
Now, in 2015, we have the same scenario as the coup mongering opposition has learned little. The private media propaganda says that Maduro will fall and this is hammered out, day after day, but no explanation is given when.
A huge turnout in support of Maduro, the Revolution and against US imperialism, took place in San Felipe, Yaracuy state, two weeks ago (even I was surprised by the images on TV as was Maduro himself based on his comments).
On February 23, an emblematic day for all Venezuelans remembering when the last dictator, Perez Jimenez, was ousted by a military and popular uprising in 1958, another populous march by chavismo came to listen to Maduro.
February 28 commemorated the Caracazo of 1989 when anywhere from 3000–4000 people were slaughtered and thrown into mass graves by the army to protect private property from looting. Once again, a fantastic turnout for a President supported by just 18% of the population according to El Nacional (sic).
These turnouts, the ICS poll, and the fact that hardly anyone took to the streets when metropolitan mayor Antonio Ledezma was arrested two weeks ago must have been a reality check for the opposition.
Once again, I was surprised when there were no violent protests accompanied by destruction of public property when Ledezma was locked away in the headquarters of the Bolivarian Security Services. Can it be that the opposition has completely lost its power to marshal decent size demonstrations, has lost credibility with the middle classes where its core support lies, or simply does not have any leadership?
Perhaps the president of the pollster Hinterlaces, Oscar Schemel, is right when he says that the opposition has only 18% popular support?
President Chavez used to say the “the Revolution needs the whiplash of the counter-revolution” to progress. This appears to be the case as we enter the third month of 2015 as chavismo has pulled together to fight back against the economic war, the media campaign both national and international, and the growling threats from the US.
Fewer people believe that the shortages of basic food stuffs are the fault of President Maduro. They know that there is a conspiracy to destroy the economy as was tried during the oil industry sabotage that lasted 72 days from December 2002–February 2003.
To complete the dismemberment of the “wishful thinking way of doing politics” using black propaganda and outright lies, the ICS poll also revealed that 57.2% of those polled have confidence that President Maduro will be able improve the economy. A further 56.4% believe that the economy will recover against 40.2% who are pessimistic.
These percentages reflect little change from recent national elections so all the economic war has achieved is to make everyone’s life more difficult with little or no political gain.
Obviously, polls are not elections; but opposition strategy has been wrong before and all the signs are that it will be wrong once again.
The coup/electoral path ambiguity manifested by opposition politicians (not all of them) is confusing for their supporters and will have little effect in recruiting chavista voters over to the opposition ranks.
For the coming months we, at Axis of Logic, expect more attempts at destabilization especially from the international media in Spain, Colombia and the US.
These three “suspects” are the same countries that lauded the 2002 coup against President Chavez. Nothing appears to have changed in 13 years and the Revolution, despite its problems and contradictions, will continue for the benefit of the great mass of the population and be validated at the voting booth and not through the barrel of a gun.