Thursday, October 04, 2018

Does Maduro Have More Support Than We Think?

A new poll from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello gives a sense of how complex and counterintuitive the Venezuelan political scene is. For example:

--62.9% support the currency conversion.
--only 29.1% say the situation in the country is "very bad."
--36.5% are either somewhat satisfied or satisfied with the government.
--only 30.9% self-identify with the opposition.
--56% believe that scarcity is caused by commercial hoarding.

In short, the government is in the strongest position it's been in a while. From an interview with the professor who oversaw the poll:

Luis Pedro España, a UCAB professor who conducted the poll, told Venezuelan media that the reason so many citizens believe Maduro’s explanation of the crisis is that, “The opposition has somehow disappeared from the public scene.” Also, the absence of a united opposition leadership has allowed Maduro to impose his own narrative, he said.
We have to put the poll in the proper context, e.g. several million Venezuelans have emigrated and therefore have not answered any poll except with their feet.

But it does serve as a reminder that there is hardly anything that specifically constitutes an "opposition." There is nothing but an anti-Maduro message getting through and it is not convincing enough people.

From an international perspective, it tells us that military intervention will not be welcomed. Remember that the core assumption of the Bay of Pigs was that Cubans were waiting for the opportunity to rid themselves of Fidel Castro, which was not true.

Finally, it tells us that no end to the misery is in sight.


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