A poll by the Heron Consultores firm on voting intention for the December 6 parliamentary election revealed several interesting measurements.

On the general situation in the country and its causes:

  • When asked, “What are the three main problems affecting you personally”, the top three answers were: Scarcity/Shortages (38.1%), insecurity/crime (30.9%), and high cost of living/inflation (9.5%)
  • When asked, (I’m paraphrasing) “Who is responsible for the country’s situation?”, the top three answers were: Maduro’s government (63%), Socialism of the 21st century (12.1%), and corruption (8.5%).
  • When asked, “Do you think things will improve in the next three months?”, 82.6% answered “No”.
  • When asked, “Do you think Venezuela is heading down the right path?”, 81.1% answered “No”.
  • When asked, “Do you think the socialism of the 21st century will solve the economic crisis?”, 77.5% answered “No”.

On voting intentions:

  • When asked, “How do you define yourself politically”, respondents answered: 44.8% opposition, 28.7% “Ni-Ni” [meaning, “not decided between PSUV and opposition”], and 24.2% PSUV.
  • 79.3% of respondents said they were “very sure” the would vote on the election, while another 6.5% reported being “sure”.
  • When asked, “If the election were held on Sunday, would you vote for the opposition or for the government?”, 71.5% answered “opposition”, 25.7% answered “government [In Spanish, oficialismo]“.

The poll was conducted between September 5 and 20, and sampled 1,200 electors registered with the CNE. The entire survey can be found here, in Spanish.

PDVSA Omits Data from SEC Filing

El Nacional reports today that official documentation filed by the state-owned oil firm PDVSA before the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission omitted important economic data, including the extent to which the Venezuelan economy shrank in 2014. The newspaper claims that Maduro ordered the Banco Central de Venezuela [Venezuelan Central Bank] to omit information on inflation, scarcity and GDP performance for the third trimester of 2014.

PDVSA is bound by United States law to file financial reports, as are all other companies in the world who issue bonds in the United States.

The document did reveal that the Venezuelan government spent Bs. 21.5 billion in 2014, “primarily due to an increase in payment transfers from the government to public and private sectors”.

At the official exchange rate of Bs. 6.30 per U.S. dollar, Bs. 21.5 billion is $3.41 billion. At the current black market exchange rate (Bs. 826.27 per U.S. dollar as of this entry), the same figure equals $26.02 billion.

The report also revealed that PDVSA’s biggest clients are Canada and the United States. PDVSA sold approximately 800,000 barrels per day at the end of the year, down from approximately one million barrels that sold on average in 2012.

Ministers of Defense Meet

A twice-delayed meeting between the Colombian and Venezuela Ministers of Defense is finally taking place today in Santa Marta, Colombia.

The Ministers, Luis Carlos Villegas and Vladimir Padrino Lopez from Colombia and Venezuela, respectively, will meet to address the ongoing border closure. The meeting will take place in the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, the villa where Simon Bolivar died.

Venezuela Becomes President of OAS Permanent Council

Venezuela became the President of the Organization of American States’ Permanent Council yesterday. The Council is one of the two bodies of the OAS, and plays a large role in focusing the organization’s attention on issues.

Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez hailed the appointment as an opportunity to ensure the OAS “is not glued to imperial hegemonic interests”, and proposed a path forward for the organization:

The OAS should take up international affairs with special projects for people. It should be a guardian of human rights in all nations (…) it’s really important that it abandon the bad habit how using human rights to intervene with legitimate governments.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com


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