Venezuelans overwhelmingly Chavistas, poll finds

A new poll released by International Consulting Services, featured several results that suggest Chavismo — the political project pushed by late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez — continues to be the preferred political option for the country.

The poll, carried out on the eve of the second anniversary of the death of Chavez's death on March 5, found 62% of Venezuelans consider themselves Chavistas — “partisans … of the ideals” of the late Venezuelan leader.

In other results, about 57% of Venezuelans have confidence that the Chavista government of President Nicolas Maduro will improve the economy.

In the midst of an economic crisis triggered by crashing oil prices and economic war in which basic goods remain scarce, only a quarter of Venezuelans regard scarcities as the country's biggest problem.

This finding contradicts the image of widespread hunger and desperation among Venezuelans projected by the international media.

Moreover, in the face of an inflation rate fast approaching 70%, only one in 10 Venezuelans consider inflation as the nation's principal issue. Rather, insecurity, a perennial problem in Venezuela, remains the top concern for half of the country's citizens.

The study also contained some unexpected findings regarding parliamentary elections set for December. Contrary to international predictions of a landslide victory for the opposition, 43.6% of Venezuelans said they would vote for the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and its allied parties if elections were held today.

Despite acute economic difficulties, the PSUV retains a strong lead over the opposition, which was preferred by less than 32% of poll respondents.

The survey also found that 80% of Venezuelans believe that respect for human rights is guaranteed in the Bolivarian republic. This stands at odds with statements by the US government and international media around alleged “human rights violations” committed by the Maduro government.

[Abridged from .]