A survey conducted by the polling form Venebarometro, 53.7% of respondents do not agree with socialism as a socio-political doctrine.
Among the three broadly-grouped social classes – lower, middle and upper – the majority disagree with socialism. 50.3% of lower class, 52% of middle class and 64% of upper class Venezuelans disagree with the tenets of socialism according to the survey.
When asked, “What do you think is the true intention of the government of Nicolas Maduro?” 47.8% answered, “Install a communist system”, while 41% answered “entrench democracy in the country”. Echoing surveys conducted earlier this year, 69.9% of those polled believe the country’s general outlook is negative, and 52.4% consider Maduro’s term as president to be “bad” overall.
The Venezuelan Central Bank released updated findings on the scarcity crisis in the country. The report published today examined scarcity in the country up to the end of April, and discovered the following figures:
- Overall, 20 basic foods/ingredients (including milk, baby food, sugar, cooking oil and flour) are scarce in excess of 30% of the time.
- Powered skim milk was scarce 99.8% of the time, meaning it was practically impossible to find.
- Baby food was scarce 98.2% of the time.
- Corn flour was scarce 81% of the time.
A practical way to understand the scarcity percentages is to imagine yourself going to your local supermarket ten times looking for items. With the three specific examples posted above, out of your ten trips to the supermarket, you would not have found powdered skim milk and baby food at all, and you would have found corn flour only two times.
The government announced recently that starting on July 1st, air fare will be priced using the SICAD II exchange rate, which effectively means a 5 fold increase in air plane tickets. The move amounts to a 354% rise in the price of tickets. The government also announced that it had fully repaid the 2013 debt to four airlines (Aruba Airlines, Tame Ecuador, Insel Air and Aeromexico), decreasing the number of airlines to which debt is owed to 20.
Ramon Aveledo – executive secretary of the official opposition, the MUD – had this to say regarding the elections in San Cristobal and San Diego this past Sunday, and the events that lead up to them:
The people in both municipalities have very good reasons for civil protests – which is what the majority support – and lots of democratic conscience, as was demonstrated when the temptation of absenteeism [not voting] was overcome, and a massive amount of people went out to vote, and vote for the Unidad [opposition]. There’s no contradiction at all between voting and peaceful and civil protest, they are both democratic. It would be a mistake to confuse protest with violent disturbances (which, interestingly, part of the government promotes), or assume that it substitutes voting.
Below is a short video showing National Guard troops in action against unseen demonstrators, allegedly at the URBE campus in Maracaibo. The video shows a group of National Guard soldiers moving down a street, discharging their weapons. It is very likely that the munitions being fired are rubber buckshot pellets:
Finally, a few pictures from a confrontation between demonstrators and the National Guard in Puerto Ordaz, Guayana, which took place this afternoon and was ongoing this evening: