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Mon Aug 13, 2012, 11:17 PM

Study of Polls Shows a Clear Lead for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela's Presidential Election Race

Study of Polls Shows a Clear Lead for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela's Presidential Election Race

By VENEZUELA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN UK, August 13th 2012


With just two months to go until Venezuela’s presidential elections on 7 October, a study of recent opinion polls has shown a clear lead for Hugo Chavez over his main rival Henrique Capriles Radonski.

The study shows Hugo Chavez has a lead of between 15-27% in each of the 8 polls examined (see table below).

The study is based on all polls published in July by the major polling companies that carry out polls in Venezuela (with data collected in the last week of June and during July 2012).

It includes pollsters that had some of the most accurate final predictions for the two previous elections that determined whether Hugo Chavez would be Venezuela’s President. These include: Consultores 30-11 and Hinterlaces (2006 Presidential elections) and Datanalisis (2004 Recall Referendum).


The strong lead for Hugo Chavez in these polls is consistent with the ongoing high satisfaction rating for his government which a range of polls have shown is regularly around 60%.


(MORE)

http://left-click.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1030&Itemid=30
Found at: http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/7168
(My emphases.)

------------------------------

Must be stupid Venezuelans planning to vote for Chavez what with all the terrible news about Venezuela from the Corporate Press duly reported here by some DUers.

Don't these peasants in Venezuela know that Chavez is, a) a dictator, and b) incompetent (an incompetent dictator?).

It's damn puzzling. His government keeps winning elections by big majorities but the Corporate Press and its DU echoheads NEVER SAY WHY. Why do people vote for this clown...er dictator?

Must be rigged elections, huh? Nope. Venezuela has one of the most honest and transparent voting systems in the world, certified by all the reputable election monitoring groups, and transparent on the face of the election system facts--far, FAR more honest and transparent than our own (like night and day).

Well, the last sentence above tells us part of the story that is blackholed in the Corporate Press: "The strong lead for Hugo Chavez in these polls is consistent with the ongoing high satisfaction rating for his government which a range of polls have shown is regularly around 60%."

Huh. How come those polls are NEVER EVER cited in the Corporate Press? How come studies like the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Carribean, which designated Venezuela "THE most equitable society in Latin America" are NEVER EVER cited in the Corporate Press?

Venezuela has problems, of course, like any country does. How come those are the ONLY things EVER reported by the Corporate News? And how come they are often reported without mentioning what the Chavez government is doing about them?

Our politicians would eat their hearts out for Chavez's poll numbers. How come this is NEVER reported?

The picture of Venezuela by the Corporate Press is so slanted as to be ridiculous! It is propaganda. And, what is more, it is a propaganda campaign that has been going on for a decade, and is monotonously negative often with the same "talking points" repeated almost verbatim from corporate news source to corporate news source.

And here we are again. Chavez way ahead in all polls and the ONLY thing we get from the Corporate News and its dittoheads is bad news about Venezuela.

Among other things--like the disgust I feel at being lied to time and again about the Chavez government--this long-standing, intense anti-Chavez campaign is worrisome. Does it mean a war is being planned? Another coup attempt? Or is it just that our Corporate Rulers simply don't want us to learn anything about an equitable society where most people like their government?

What a disaster it would be for our Corporate Rulers if our people found out the truth--that the Chavez government, though it certainly has its flaws, like any government does, is actually a good government, benefiting most Venezuelans, and with consistently high approval ratings over the decade! Venezuelans, not being stupid, have voted for fairness--for their own "New Deal"--for inclusion of the poor majority in the political process--for an expansion of civil and human rights and public participation. Our Corporate Press must bury this truth. And they do.

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Reply Study of Polls Shows a Clear Lead for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela's Presidential Election Race (Original post)
Peace Patriot Aug 2012 OP
Roverticus Aug 2012 #1
Peace Patriot Aug 2012 #3
Justina For Justice Aug 2012 #2
Judi Lynn Aug 2012 #4
Peace Patriot Aug 2012 #5
Roverticus Aug 2012 #6
Zorro Aug 2012 #7
Peace Patriot Aug 2012 #8
Judi Lynn Aug 2012 #9

Response to Peace Patriot (Original post)

Tue Aug 14, 2012, 12:48 AM

1. Chavez Good and Evil

You should check out a blog that one of my buddies writes for NACLA on the portrayal of Chavez in the US media.
Manufacturing Contempt: http://nacla.org/node/8088.

I agree that our portrayal of Chavez is overly negative and we still need to acknowledge his right to exist as a democratic actor. But what's most important is to understand both the good and evil he has created. The mainstream media rarely reports on the improvements that Chavez made for Venezuela's long ignored majority. Meanwhile, alternative media often underplays Chavez's use of personalism and his less than responsible monetary management. We need to realize that Chavez is not all bad, but also not all good.

What we do hear about though, and what really matters behind all the polemical hooplah is the relationship of codependency between the US and Venezuela. Chavez may say he smells sulfur wafting from the White House, and the US may report on the ills of his government, but at the end of the day we remain connected by oil and money: http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/02/venezuela-us-joined-by-black-gold/. Socialism for the 21st Century runs on the US dollar and our cars run on Venezuelan oil. Our refineries are even specially tooled to handle the rough Maracaibo crude.


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Response to Roverticus (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 14, 2012, 03:35 AM

3. "The mainstream media rarely reports on the improvements that Chavez made...

"...for Venezuela's long ignored majority." (--from your comment)

No, the Corporate Media* NEVER reports "on the improvements that Chavez made or Venezuela's long ignored majority." It's not that they "rarely" report these things. It's that they NEVER do. Their reporting on Chavez is 100% one-sided, all rightwing "talking points" all the time. There is no balance to it whatsoever.

I've been following Corporate Media coverage of Chavez for about a decade. NEVER have I read anything that even mentions--even as a sidelight, even at the bottom of the article--the positive things that the Chavez government has achieved and WHY Venezuelans support their government, time and again, by big majorities, in honest elections.

This is extraordinary! The closest thing to it, in the Corporate Media, is the WMDs in Iraq that weren't there--and at least they eventually reported the truth, long after it was relevant and not in time to save the lives of the hundreds of thousands of innocent people who were slaughtered by the U.S. "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad.

Lies! It was all lies! And so, in essence, is the coverage of Chavez. Outright lies, lies of omission, vast distortion and utter lack of balance.

It is really important to understand this. Thinking minds can hardly grasp it because we naturally look at "both sides." Surely there must be some mention of Chavez's significant achievements and the reasons why voters vote for him in big numbers, we think...um, somewhere in the Corporate Media.

There. Is. None.

So-o-o-o-o, the only reasonable thing to do is to try to bring those truths--Chavez's achievements, the reasons for his support--to the attention of as many people as possible--a very uphill battle, of course, impossible really, since the Corporate Media controls almost the entire span of information to most people in this country. Which brings me to these other points in your comment...

--

"...alternative media often underplays Chavez's use of personalism and his less than responsible monetary management. We need to realize that Chavez is not all bad, but also not all good."

--

Personalism? Was not FDR guilty of "personalism"? Indeed, what politician is not guilty of "personalism"? There is an entire huge industry of P.R. firms based on "selling" politicians in personal terms. But this cynical and corrupt industry is just profiting from something that politicians already do and have always done--sold themselves to the voters as persons. Then, once in office, all politicians seek power to implement the policies that they said they would implement. Consider FDR again--who was accused by the rightwing of being a "dictator," just as Chavez has been. FDR sought and wielded power to get the desperately needed "New Deal" into reality.

Much could be said in criticism of either leader, especially on "personalism." But both leaders also very significantly empowered the poor majority. Both also have had circumstances that seemed to call them to be especially powerful. FDR, for instance, was dealing with the Great Depression (then Hitler), and the vicious hatred of the rightwing and the rich.

Chavez had, first of all, "neo-liberal"-caused vast poverty to solve, and, in the midst of that, a U.S.-supported coup d'etat attempt, then the oil bosses' lockout, the USAID-funded recall election and other attacks on himself, on his government and on Venezuelan democracy itself. (His economic achievements were near miraculous in those circumstances--five straight years of sizzling--10%--economic growth, through 2008). The times called for strength, in both cases. Is it any wonder that both leaders relied on the peoples' trust in them and became the leaders that the people needed them to be--strong leaders?

To criticize them for "personalism" is liking calling the sun hot. The people trusted their persons--their honesty, their integrity, their use of power and their conveyance of confidence. The people of both countries are lucky to have had these leaders. Everybody has flaws. Why should the "alternative" media dwell on Chavez's flaws, when the Corporate Media is 100% anti-Chavez and a corrective is badly needed? I don't buy this. You say that the alternative media "underplays" Chavez's "use of personalism." Why should they "play" it all? It's ridiculous charge anyway. Yeah, he's a person--so what?

--

"...his less than responsible monetary management."

I just posted a report that the Chavez government has reduced inflation by 16%. See
http://www.democraticunderground.com/11084665

I think that their monetary policies have been very responsible, and very smart, in numerous ways. These include government spending, especially on social programs, all along and then continued in spite of the Bushwhack-induced worldwide depression. They had the right idea! Spend more; seek full employment. The poor solve depressions, not the rich. Put money in the pockets of the poor and they spend it! Enrich the rich and they retire to their yachts and mansions.

Also, the Chavez government's accumulation of high cash reserves during the prior fat period was a smart policy, so they had a cushion with which to continue social programs--so critical to Venezuela's long term recovery from what the Bushwhacks did to all of us--and they also had CREDIT. Venezuela is booming--with 5.6% economic growth and low unemployment--not to mention free universal medical care and all the rest.

If you are going to say something like this--"less than responsible monetary management"--you should explain what you mean. And, again, why should the alternative press criticize Chavez's monetary policy? It's working!

I think you've fallen into the trap of seeking "a balanced view." Sure, there are problems in Venezuela. Open the New York Slimes and read all about it. Follow the Associated Pukes and there are nothing but problems in Venezuela. Why those peasants keep voting for Chavez, nobody can tell. When I turn to the alternative press, I am looking for WHY. Why do they vote for him, time and again, in honest elections? I am not looking for purest views about utopia. I am not looking for "both sides." I'm looking for the scoop of the century: why Chavez is so popular and how Venezuelans managed to elect their own FDR in this Corporate-run world.

As for the oil, that is a fact, for sure. Venezuela has oil--the biggest oil reserves on earth, according to the USGS. And ain't that the irony of ironies! Somebody's using oil for the benefit of the poor! Rather than lamenting it, we should be laughing our heads off. Gotto have a sense of humor, you know. $4.05/gal and 15% of it, or so, is going to little kids with no shoes in Venezuela, and PhD students, and old grandmas, and retired bus drivers, and single mothers, and other people who didn't have shit before--and universal health care!

Ha-ha on us! I think this is going to save the human race, in the end. Irony! We'll still be laughing about it, in our biosphere huts on Mars, when global warming has come and gone. "Then one day, somebody started gaming the system to feed the poor and that's how the remnants of the human race survived."





----------------------------

*(They are NOT "mainstream" in any sense.)

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Response to Peace Patriot (Original post)

Tue Aug 14, 2012, 01:02 AM

2. U.S. Capitalist Media Terrified of Chavez: His Government Helps The Majority

As an American who has lived in Venezuela for the past five years, I can attest that Chavez wins elections here because his government actually serves the needs of the majority of the people, not merely the 0.01%.

The Chavez government has brought universal health care, free pubic education to the doctoral level (with stipends to students), free technical training, low cost government subsidized food, free or low cost housing to those who need it, and support for unions and worker-owned cooperatives. Chavez's policies are vastly improving the lives of the majority of Venezuelans. The capitalist press in the U.S. refuses to report that because it is dangerous to their interests.

The millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and houses due to the criminal policies of the wealthy who have wrecked our economy would vote for Chavez's policies overwhelmingly if they could. But they can't, since only the candidates of the super-wealthy can run for office here and they certainly don't want to represent the working and middle classes.

The U.S. media companies which demonize Chavez are all owned by big corporations who are terrified of losing their power and money if Chavez's ideas were to take hold here. Thus, they report only lies about Chavez and his government.

Genuine democracy is flourishing here in Venezuela, with very honest elections, unlike the U.S. That is why more than 60% of Venezuelans approve Chavez's policies and keep voting to re-elect him. His Bolivarian socialism really works!

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Response to Justina For Justice (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 14, 2012, 03:37 AM

4. There will be a lot of Democrats here watching the election with deep interest

every step of the way this year.

Hoping for improving health for the President. It's easy to see why he believes he has had a real mission to turn things around to bring change to the lives of the people the 1% exploited for cheap labor, and otherwise ignored in Venezuela.

That change must continue.

So good to see your comments. Happy 5th year.

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Response to Justina For Justice (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 14, 2012, 03:51 AM

5. Thank you very much for your comments!

You reinforce my view that my own countrymen and women need to re-learn democracy from Latin Americans and most especially from Venezuelans.

Venezuela's election system puts ours to shame, for instance. And it also contains the keys to reforming ours--such as OPEN SOURCE code in the voting machines--publicly owned code than anyone may review, with a whopping 55% audit--unlike our 'TRADE SECRET' voting machines, in every state, run on code that the public is forbidden to review, and not only that, but with almost non-existent audit/recount controls, and not only that, 70% controlled by one, private, far rightwing-connected corporation!

No FDR could be elected in the U.S. today. The final blockade to reform has been put in place, all over the U.S.--this "privatized" voting system.

Venezuelans are so...the word is brilliant, really...for having done their homework on their voting system and on so many other elements of civic life. I haven't been able to visit Venezuela but a close friend did and brought me back one of those tiny blue books containing the Venezuelan Constitution, that people carry around in their pockets and often quote from. And I understand that the Venezuelan Constitution is printed on shopping bags! That is a brilliant people, worthy of the highest praise.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #5)

Tue Aug 14, 2012, 04:05 PM

6. You vill re-learn democracy a la Chavez!

Just because a candidate is a leftist does not mean their democratic standards should be ignored. Chavez rules by decree, in a country with his own constitution. Chavez is not clean and Freedom House reflects this reality in its evaluation of Venezuela's democracy. He has done good things, but he does them like an autocrat. At least call him what he is: a modern day Caudillo. If we can acknowledge that the US acts like an empire we can also acknowledge that Chavez acts less than democratically. Even his military is purposely packed with supports. Though he did so to avoid another coup, the result has produced a top generals who have suggested keeping Chavez in power despite the victory of another candidate.

And he is not exempt from the oligarchic tendencies common in any prolonged government. The rise of Boligarchs - those who have made millions by doing business with Chavez - is already upon us.

Don't say we should re-learn Chavez's style of governance as democratic, because he has improved the lives of millions. That does not make you a democrat. The fight for equality and democracy should be the same, but sometimes they are separate. This is one such case.

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Response to Roverticus (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 10:31 AM

7. You are sooo going to get a severe tongue-lashing

from DU's resident home-schooled LatAm scholars.

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Response to Roverticus (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 12:35 PM

8. I was not speaking specifically about Chavez as to re-learning democracy.

I was speaking about Venezuelans, a people that cares enough about their democracy to insist on honest, transparent elections and to do all the hard civic work necessary to establishing this bottom line of democracy. They are also admirable in their political activism, grass roots organization and levels of public participation in politics and government.

You're citing "Freedom House"? They have contracts with the USAID (spawn of the CIA) and are secretive about those contracts:

----

The U.S. Agency for International Development this month refused to release key details of Freedom House activities in Cuba from January 2000 through December 2007.

USAID released its 1999 contract with Freedom House along with 11 supplemental agreements, but redacted the majority of the program descriptions that would give details of the non-profit organization's activities in Cuba.


http://alongthemalecon.blogspot.com/2012/03/usaid-shields-freedom-house.html

----

No entity funded by the U.S. government, with all the horror that the U.S. government has inflicted on Latin America in the past and recently (Colombia, Honduras, Mexico) can be trusted on Venezuela. Lordy, the U.S. government supported the fascist coup in Venezuela in 2002!

--

"Chavez rules by decree."

So does the president of Brazil. It is a common practice in Latin America. It is perfectly lawful. The legislature--also democratically elected--votes powers of decree to the president which are time-limited and limited to specific issues. Lula da Silva, for instance, protected a wide swath of the Amazon for an uncontacted indigenous tribe by "decree." Chavez is housing thousands of people displaced by catastrophic floods and rebuilding their town with "decree" powers granted to him by the legislature.

"...in a country with his own constitution."

What a slander on the people of Venezuela who slaved over every clause in their constitution for more than two years in constituent assemblies all over the country, and then voted for their new constitution by a big majority. They reverence their constitution! They pass out copies of it on the street. They carry copies of it in their pockets. They print parts of it on grocery bags! And during the U.S.-supported fascist coup attempt in 2002 it was the first thing on their minds, even before the fate of their elected president. ("What about our constitution?!")

The coup regime suspended the constitution, the national assembly, the courts and all civil rights. It was the Venezuelan peoples' constitution--with its great expansion of human and civil rights--that the tens of thousands of Venezuelans who poured into the streets, during the coup attempt, were successfully defending, in one of the most remarkable events in Latin American history.

Chavez's personal constitution? That is bullshit.

The Chavez government has scrupulously followed the Venezuelan constitution--a constitution written and voted on by the people of Venezuela (also a common practice in Latin America, unlike here, where we are stuck with the "Electoral College" and oligarchic senators forevermore). And it is the Chavez government's very lawfulness that you are trying to attack by calling it "his own constitution." That is a lie and an insult to the people of Venezuela. It is THEIR constitution and Chavez's adherence to it is among the many reasons why they keep voting for his government, by big majorities--much as our people voted for FDR for four straight terms as president.

Chavez is no more of a "caudillo" (translation: "a man on a white horse") than FDR was. It is not often that "the people" get a real champion of the people as head of government--a leader with the interests of the majority in mind, who acts on their behalf and who understand who he owes his power to. Chavez understands the latter--who he owes his power to--more than any leader in the world. The people of Venezuela literally saved his life and restored him to his rightful office. He is clearly acting for them and with their approval. That is how representative democracy works!

Is it "participatory democracy"--the ideal of democracy? Actually, it is to some extent--for instance, in the establishment of community councils which control the use of federal funds locally--but the framework is representative democracy. It is very similar to our system but Venezuelans have been able to make that system work for the common good, whereas we are no longer able to do so. Like our people back in the 1930s, they were able to vote themselves a "New Deal." That is not possible here any more. And, indeed, it is so terrifying to the transglobal corporate monsters and war profiteers who rule over us, that they never stop with the lying propaganda about Chavez, a constant battering for over a decade now. And it is characteristic of that propaganda--I've read it again and again--that, if Chavez is not a "dictator" yet, he is sure to become one.

Well, the rightwing also called FDR a "dictator." They hated FDR just as viciously as the current rightwing, here and there, hates Chavez. Why? It is not anything that either leader did that was "undemocratic" (as if the rightwing and their 1% funders care about democracy! Ha!). It is because both leaders advocate FAIRNESS and act with strength TO BE FAIR.

Now, if you want to talk about theories of democracy, fine. In an ideal democracy, no citizen has more power than any other. All are perfectly equal. And there is no need for politicians. Everything is done by consensus.

Is Venezuela an ideal democracy? No. Was the U.S. an ideal democracy with FDR as president? No. Our systems of democracy require leaders and when the poor majority gets a leader into power, the rich elite and the transglobal corporations that they serve, squeal like stuck pigs. They don't mind Exxon Mobil making them rich on Venezuela's oil, while most Venezuelans wallow in poverty. They don't mind Bush Jr. murdering a hundred thousand people in the "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad, to get control of their oil. Those kind of true dictatorial actions don't bother them at all. But let a leader try to share the wealth and control the greed of the rich, and that leader--the one doing the will of the people--is called a "dictator" or, more sneakily, a "caudillo." And we liberals and progressives and leftists are supposed to cringe in fear of that leadership because...because...? It's not ideal!

No, Chavez is not an ideal leader. Nor was FDR. But the political system in the U.S. in that era, and Venezuela's political system now, worked and work as they should to produce leaders who truly represent the majority. And those leaders had to work every day against the 1%-ers who desperately wanted to undo those policies. The 1%-ers here have very nearly dismantled our "New Deal." Don't we wish we could elect a new FDR to restore it!

I have looked into the matter in great detail--including detailed scrutiny of the Venezuelan election system--and I am satisfied that Venezuelans have the leader they want and need. They've had every opportunity to throw him out--even one funded by the USAID (the 2004 recall election)--and they instead endorse him and his government by big margins, time and again. The Corporate Press never says WHY. I could enumerate the reasons why--the fair distribution of the oil wealth, for instance, universal health care, great expansions of educational opportunities, human and civil rights and public participation--a long list of "New Deal"-like policies that are NEVER reported. You seem to acknowledge these but resent the political power that has made them possible. Yes, Chavez is powerful--so powerful that he CAN and DID insist on the constitutional use of the oil revenues to benefit the common good.

Will the "Bolivarian Revolution" (Venezuela's "New Deal") be undone some day by the 1%-ers, possibly because it is too much based on strong leadership. That could happen, just as it is happening here. Or it could happen by assassination, by outright coup d'etat or by another U.S. oil war, or possibly simply by Chavez dying. Without Chavez, Venezuelans will have a hard time hanging onto their "New Deal." The "New Deal" looked permanent in 1945 (the year of FDR's death). It was not. It took time, but it has been almost completely destroyed. The greedbags are back in charge and more powerful than ever before.

We long for another FDR to put things right. We forget the long hard road to the "New Deal," which involved decades of labor and other activism and suffering, and strong attention to our civic responsibilities (for instance, insuring honest, transparent elections--a LOCAL and personal responsibility). We have a long difficult road ahead of us, to restore real democracy here. Venezuelans have walked that road and have arrived at a government that has greatly benefited them and has given them great satisfaction (one of the highest satisfaction and "happiness" ratings in the world!) They may have to walk it again. And maybe some day we will all learn not to be so dependent on our leaders.

To SEE this flaw in representative democracy is quite different from squawking about FDR or Chavez being "dictators" (or "personalists," or "caudillos"). They have both done what the people of their countries elected them to do, which required strength and the use of lawful power to battle the rich powermongers. Is that wrong? No. It's how things are supposed to work in these democratic systems. Are politicians almost always tempted to seek too much power, often justifying themselves that it's in a good cause? Yes. Should they be closely watched for this tendency? Of course! Should they be bludgeoned day in, day out, with nothing but negative so-called "news" by wealthy, transglobal media corporations who serve the 1%, with absolutely no balance whatsoever? That is not beneficial scrutiny. That is gross interference.

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Response to Roverticus (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 10:08 PM

9. Please spare us. We've seen this already from various visitors as they passed through here.

You will find a handful of people who will support your political position here, but with any numbers similar to the response you can get at a Republican board.

The Democrats here DO watch and study progress in Venezuela and have for years. Very acquainted with the facts. Never have needed patronizing comments from the right, as this site was designed for progressives, as stated. No one is going to make converts here.

That doesn't happen with people who are very serious already about learning what our corporate media concealed all our lives.

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