The results of a suvery by Alfredo Keller y Asociados released yesterday shows that discontent with the situation in Venezuela continues to climb towards universality, and that support for Maduro and the PSUV continues to fester at historic lows.

The results of the survey can be found here, in Spanish. Below, I’ve outlined some of the survey’s findings:

  • 93% have a negative view of the country’s overall situation. When categorized by political affiliation, 72% of chavistas have a negative view of the country’s overall situation.
  • 88% have a negative opinion of the country’s economic situation.
  • 84% have a negative opinion of the Maduro government’s “ability to solve issues affecting people like you”.
  • 94% believe that the scarcity crisis in the country is getting worse.
  • 44% find it easiest to buy basic necessities from bachaqueros [street re-sellers], while only 13% find it easiest to buy them from Mercal and CLAP, two government food distribution initiatives.
  • 86% say that the CLAP is not helping them at all.
  • 81% believe that there is a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela at the moment. The blame for the crisis is broken down in the following way: The government (41%), Maduro (23%), Chavez (10), “Socialism of the 21st Century” (3%).
  • 45%  consider themselves to be opposition supporters, 35% consider themselves to be independents, while 20% consider themselves to be chavistas.
  • 75% have a negative opinion of Maduro, while only 19% have a positive opinion of him. 65% believe that Chavez was “very mistaken” in naming Maduro his successor.

The survey also calculates overall support for chavismo by averaging the values of five variables, including Maduro’s popularity, perceptions of the country’s overall situation, and perceptions of the government. The survey calculates that support for chavismo is currently at 11.6%.

On the best way to solve the crisis in the country, the survey found:

  • 67% believe that the best way to fix the crisis is by replacing Maduro.
  • 73% would vote to recall Maduro if a referendum were held this year, while only 15% would vote to keep in in office.

The survey’s sample size was 1,200 Venezuelans and is accurate within +/- 2.89% with a level of confidence of 95.5%.

Polar to Sue Gov’t Over More Product Theft

Polar Enterprise, the largest food producer in Venezuela, will sue the national government over yet another “arbitrary appropriation” of its products, this time in Apure state.

Authorities confiscated 1,656 kilograms of product yesterday at a Polar warehouse there for no legal reason, Polar claims. Victor Vincent, a Polar regional manager, issued a release on the Apure event yesterday afternoon, saying:

This afternoon, a commission made up of state organizations [SUNAGRO, SUNDDE, and the National Guard] once again went ahead and arbitrarily appropriated 1,656 kilograms of Primor pasta and Mavesa margarine which were located in our warehouse in San Fernando in Apure.

Yesterday’s “appropriation” follows a similar event last Thursday, when 14,000 kilograms of product were similarly taken from Polar for no apparent reason.

Polar says that as a result of the continued theft of its product, it has no choice but to “exercise legal action in order to defend [our] rights”.

Unrefined Sugar Price Jumps 2,592% in 7 Months

Refined white sugar is one of the most hard-hit victims of Venezuela’s scarcity crisis. The staple is nearly impossible to find in the country’s supermarkets, a fact that has forced Venezuelans to seek replacements.

Papelon – unrefined sugar from the sugarcane plant – has acted as the go-to replacement for refined white sugar. El Nacional reports today that as a result of the increased demand for papelon, the price of the product has increased by approximately 2,592% in the past 7 months.

The newspaper points out that in December 2015, 400 grams of papelon cost between Bs. 70-140. Today, the same 400 grams costs Bs. 1,800-2000.

El Nacional spoke with a street vendor who used to sell papelon con limon – essentially lemonade made with papelon – which is an extremely popular drink in Venezuela. However, the increase in prices forced the vendor to stop making the product:

That’s not a business anymore because of how the price of the two ingredients went up way too much and I’d have to sell a glass for Bs. 1,000-1,500. People wouldn’t buy that.

That same street vendor now sells instant iced tea, presumably of the Nestea variety.

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

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