CubaBrief: NEW VENEZUELA POLL – Atlantic Council Findings Reveal Deepening Despair and Political Mistrust Ahead of Presidential Election

The Atlantic Council just released a poll which underlined the deteriorating Venezuelan situation, while Cuban troops deployed by Raul Castro there continue to repress and abuse the Venezuelan people. The Chavez- Maduro government destroyed the oil industry that made Venezuela one of the most advanced countries in Latin America, just like the Castro brothers destroyed Cuba’s sugar industry, the engine of Cuban progress and development for more than 200 years.

New Atlantic Council Venezuela Poll: Widespread Political, Humanitarian, Economic Despair Deepens as Illegitimate Presidential Election Approaches

Food and Medicine Crisis Worsens as Confidence in Electoral Results Diminishes

As hemispheric leaders prepare to convene for the Summit of the Americas, a new Atlantic Council-commissioned poll in Venezuela emphatically makes the case that heads of state must find ways to support Venezuelans in solving the country’s worsening political, humanitarian, and economic crisis. Findings once again validate on-the-ground accounts of a widespread humanitarian crisis, despite the Maduro government’s constant denials.

The door-to-door poll – conducted from February 25 to March 7, 2018 – included 1,000 nationwide respondents with a margin of error of +/- 3.04 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval.
Building on the Atlantic Council’s January telephone poll, this poll looks specifically at the three main issues confronting the country: mistrust of the political establishment; lack of access to goods/services necessary for daily survival; and an economy in freefall. Full results can be accessed here.

Political Mistrust

  • Venezuelans are split about the May 20 presidential election. Nearly half of respondents would not go out and vote in the upcoming presidential election under current electoral conditions, compared to just 28 percent in the Atlantic Council’s January telephone poll. Fifty percent do not believe that results announced by the National Electoral Council will be credible.
  • Government increasingly seen as an outright dictatorship. Nearly 60 percent of respondents see Venezuela as a full-fledged dictatorship or close to it. Asked to rank Venezuela’s political system from 1 to 5, in which 1 means dictatorship and 5 means full democracy, nearly six in ten respondents chose 1 or 2, up ten percentage points from the Atlantic Council’s January poll.

Economic Freefall

  • Maduro and the government blamed for hyperinflation amid concern with daily price increases. Ninety-five percent of respondents consider Venezuela to be suffering from hyperinflation. Fifty-five percent say Maduro is to blame and another 29 percent blame the national government overall.

Daily Survival

  • Humanitarian crisis statistics reinforced by widespread despair. Over 80 percent of respondents believe Venezuela is currently experiencing a humanitarian crisis, with more than nine in ten believing the food and medicine supply to be insufficient. Public perceptions mirror the deeply concerning data on food and medicine shortages.
  • Venezuelans back opening of humanitarian channel. Three in four respondents agree with opening a humanitarian channel, and most believe that the Catholic Church, the international community, and international NGOs are best equipped to coordinate aid.
  • A population without food on the table. As a result of hyperinflation, eight in ten respondents have had to reduce the number of meals they consume at home and the amount of food actually consumed at mealtime.

About the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center 
The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center broadens understanding of regional transformations through high-impact work that shapes the conversation among policymakers, the business community, and civil society. Now celebrating our five-year anniversary, the Center focuses on Latin America’s strategic role in a global context with a priority on pressing political, economic, and social issues that will define the trajectory of the region now and in the years ahead. Select lines of programming include: Venezuela’s crisis; US-Mexico relationship and NAFTA modernization; China-Latin America ties; Colombia’s peace building; the new Brazil; Central America’s future; shifting trade patterns; and energy’s next frontiers. Jason Marczak serves as Center Director.

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