Monday, March 11, 2013

Support for Democracy in Venezuela

The Latin American Public Opinion Project has some data on support for democracy in Venezuela. The upshot is that it is high, and in fact even higher than in the United States.

We have to be careful about how we interpret this. It does not necessarily say that Venezuelans believe the country is being governed democratically. I expect many, particularly in the opposition, would say they believe in democracy, but not the way Hugo Chávez has managed it. On the other hand, it is undeniable that many Venezuelans do believe the country is being governed democratically.

Either way, the overall level of support is important as Venezuela moves into unknown political territory. At the very least, leaders on both sides will feel more domestic pressure to find democratic solutions to political disputes. With luck the United States will recognize this and resist calls for intervention. Beyond generic calls for all sides, the U.S. should stay out.


boz 4:35 PM  

I remember discussing this data with some people several years ago. Both the Chavistas and the opposition in Venezuela believe that they are the true defenders of democracy and the supporters of the other side are against it. If you ask people on either side of the political divide if they support democracy, they answer with a very enthusiastic yes, more than most countries, because it is almost a political rallying cry.

Greg Weeks 5:30 PM  

Yes, it's a matter of how far the concept itself gets stretched!

JohnMichael 6:10 AM  

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Vicente Duque 1:17 PM  

Al-Jazeera : Venezuela has a murder rate of about 67 per 100,000 inhabitants. Neighbouring Colombia, in contrast, has a murder rate of 38 per 100,000 while Mexico - where some regions are gripped by deadly drug violence - has a rate of about 15 per 100,000.

"Venezuela is now described as "upper middle income" by the World Bank, but it has a far worse murder rate than Haiti -the poorest country in the western hemisphere."

My explanation : Chavez never created Real Productive Jobs, he has only distributed the Oil Revenues of the Nation, the clique that controls Venezuela probably grabs for their pockets a lot of those billions of dollars in oil exports.

Venezuela is a mono-exporter and one of the least diversified in Latin America and the World. In contrast to Colombia, the "sister" neighbor that is very diversified in exports including Industrial Products and Agribusiness.

Venezuela is a Santa Claus Economy where the Government gives gifts to buy support. So the elimination of poverty may be illusory. Those people have no productive jobs.

Wait for a decrease in Oil Prices and you will see the Smoke and Mirrors.

Venezuela crime soars amid declining poverty
Analysts say President Chavez must re-examine idea that decreasing inequality will lead to less violence.
By Chris Arsenault
23 Oct 2012


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