Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights

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Posts tagged public opion

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What Should Be Done to Reduce Crime in Venezuela? Citizen Security and Public Perceptions, part 2

 Rebecca Hanson and David Smilde

In our previous post we asked who gets the blame for crime in Venezuela. In this one we ask what Venezuelans think can be done to reduce that crime. Since 2008 the Chávez and now Maduro governments have increasingly taken on the issue of crime, often in quite contradictory ways. Here we look at if and how these strategies resonate with citizens’ opinions.

To do so we added a question to Datanalisis’ July-August Omnibus survey that asked respondents what they thought would reduce crime. The question provided respondents with a list of measures (improving the values taught to children by the family; decreasing poverty and social inequality; professionalizing police officers; reforming the judicial and penal systems; a permanent deployment of military in sectors with high rates of crime; improving access to sports and cultural activities; and improving access to public space) and asked them to rank the three most important in fighting crime. 

The first table presents the percentage of number one responses each measure received.

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Filed under Citizen Security military public opion

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Unpacking Anti-US Sentiment in Venezuela

Timothy Gill

Throughout the 20th Century the US and Venezuela maintained warm relations. Venezuelan oil flowed to the US and the US consistently supported Venezuelan leaders—dictators and democrats alike. 

That all changed, of course, during the fourteen years of the Chavez government. The US was ill disposed to a leftist, anti-imperialist government that sought to increase oil prices. And Chavez increasingly used the US as his main symbolic foil for consolidating his Bolivarian revolution. Indeed, in his last years, President Chávez hardly made a public appearance and statement without castigating the US Empire and its alleged efforts to unseat him.

How well does this anti-US rhetoric resonate with the Venezuelan population? The answer is not at all clear. Many observers note that Venezuelan culture borrows heavily from the US with its love of baseball, fast food, Hollywood films, and beauty pageants. In addition, many Venezuelans have relatives that live in the US, or have lived there themselves. 

In a new book on US-Venezuelan relations, Javier Corrales and Carlos Romero argued that the Chávez and now Maduro government’s anti-US rhetoric does the government more harm than good with its domestic constituency. They suggest that while anti-US rhetoric serves to unify radicals, it repels most others.  

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Filed under venezuela united states public opion Pew report