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Don’t believe the propaganda: Venezuelans’ support for Maduro increasing

Don’t believe the propaganda: Venezuelans’ support for Maduro increasing

According to a recent poll released by the private, and independent firm, Hinterlaces, which was made public on Monday October 17, 2016, 51 percent of the Venezuelan population prefers that “the government of President Maduro take effective measures and resolve, at least in part, the economic problems of the country,” while 43 percent prefers “a government of the opposition “.[i] Six percent did not answer or were undecided.[ii] The poll was carried out on the ground over three weeks, from September 26 to October 4, 2016.[iii]

While the poll does indicate a more favorable view of Nicolas Maduro, the legislative election in December 2015 was a clear indication that he must perform to resolve the economic crisis if the Chavista political party is to recover a solid base at the ballot box. In any case, the poll comes almost a year after that electoral defeat, and although just a snapshot in time, it does suggest some recovery in public confidence for the otherwise embattled Maduro; at least in comparison to the shaky status of the opposition. This can be attributed to several factors. The first is the success of the implementation of the numerous Comités Locales de Abastecimiento y Producción (CLAP) (Local Committees for Replenishing and production), since the beginning of April 2016.[iv] The goal of these committees is to make food and primary necessities more accessible to the local population. They are constituted by public community partnerships, bypassing the illegal networks that divert subsidized goods from the marketplace for sale on the parallel market or at the Colombian border where there are no price controls. While critics have argued that the CLAPs suffer from clientilism there is no question that the direct distribution of basic commodities to consumers is beginning to alleviate some of the frustration caused by the shortages. So far, CLAPs have provided approximately thirty-three million tons of food to more than two million Venezuelans. Hinterlaces actually carried out a poll on the popularity of this program earlier in October, and it showed that 58 percent of the population supported it, and of these 45 percent thought it was fairly effective.
Source: Don’t believe the propaganda: Venezuelans’ support for Maduro increasing

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