for those without access, download full text (pdf) here.
summary: the official figures report that the poverty rate in 2013 was 27.3%, but the 2014 figures haven't yet been published. however, a "joint new study" by three venezuelan profs says the poverty rate for 2014 was 48%.
i think it's probably likely that poverty has risen in the past year due to the economic troubles the country has continued to experience. has the povery rate risen as high as 48% , as the new study suggests? i'm not convinced.
for one thing, the most reliable studies are those that use the same methodology year after year, so the official figures reported annually (from the INE) would thus tend to be more informative than a new study for a single year. that's probably why one of the new study's co-authors makes a point to say they "used the same methodology as a similar study done in 1998 by the government’s office of statistics [the INE]"–this may have been their intention, but who knows if it actually ended up being the case? how did they collect their data? we'd need to look at the details.
also, if the poverty rate were actually higher now, in 2014, than in 1998 (with the poverty rate at 45%), when chavez was elected president –that is, when the people voted for revolution–then one would expect the poor and working classes to be even more agitated and mobilized than ever before. but it's widely known that the anti-government protests in 2014 were mostly middle-class, lacking broad social mobilization. the poor did not actively support them.
But as hard as life has become under Maduro, polls show many poor Venezuelans remain loyal to the revolution started by Chavez and are at best indifferent to an opposition they fear could turn back the clock and slash social spending.
but that's not to say the whole situation in venezuela will remain the same. keep your eye on the news.
update: just stumbled across this: Venezuelanalysis.com asked a year ago "Is Poverty Still Falling in Venezuela?".
hinterlaces may appear (to your side) to be pro-government, in the same way that datanalisis appears (to the other side) to be pro-opposition–but they are both still two of the least-biased (and, deservedly, the most respected) polling firms in venezuela. (a political science analysis of the 2012 polls found that "The firm with the lowest average biases is Datanálisis, followed by Varianzas and Hinterlaces"). to take poll numbers seriously doesn't mean you accept that they are 100% accurate, just that they can be trusted enough to give a general indication, or rough approximation, of what actual public opinion is. i think that's warranted in this case, yes.
but if you don't think the numbers reflect reality, then say so (do you have a scientific poll to support what you think to be the case?). that would at least start a conversation, perhaps even among opposition supporters (not all of whom, as you know, are thrilled with the MUD). (sorry for the english, had to write fast)
for the record, i may not be happy with datanalisis's poll showing a 25.8% approval for maduro, but i don't dispute it.
i don't wish this to 'escalate' into anything. i wasnt trying to pick a fight, and i didn't mean to single out /u/Corolarios personally. as a mod who still cares about improving the sub, i feel compelled to write comments encouraging/discouraging certain trends/behaviour. it probably comes across as rude sometimes, especially since i'm no longer a very active member of the community. if i were around here more, i'd probably be better at this.
lean el artículo primero! tablante no está de acuerdo con el título de su artículo (ironía).
"En fin, todo parece concluir en que la oposición nada tiene que ofrecer a los venezolanos, distinto a la mediocridad, la ineficiencia, el latrocinio y la estulticia que padecemos. Casi parece una invitación a resignarnos."
Y resulta, amigo lector, que no es verdad. No es cierto que lo único que ofrece la oposición es sacar a Maduro de Miraflores (que de paso, no es poca cosa). La oposición ofrece a Venezuela el más maravilloso de todos los programas.
La oposición ofrece la siguiente bicoca: restablecer la democracia. ¡Casi nada! Tirios y troyanos, radicales y moderados, tradicionalistas y recién llegados, electoralistas y guarimberos, huevos fritos y atorados, marxistas y capitalistas, socialdemócratas, socialcristianos y liberales coinciden, sin diferencia alguna, en el mejor programa que se le pueda ofrecer a Venezuela: El gobierno del pueblo, para y el pueblo y por el pueblo. El respeto a los derechos humanos. ¡Una pelusa!
por favor, deja el sarcasmo. comentarios como este (hay muchos) no contribuyen en nada a la conversación. hay otras encuestas (incluso por Hinterlaces) que indican que los venezolanos NO cree que "el PSUV o del país están excelentemente bien dirigidos", ni que "no necesitan de ninguna renovación ni cambio de ideario político*". sin embargo, el objetivo de ESTA encuesta fue evaluar las percepciones y opiniones públicas de la oposición. por qué no comentas sobre el tema en cuestión?
yeah i am, though i'm pretty much hands-off these days. the sub is what it is, but you're certainly welcome to participate there (argue your point of view, etc).
i don't like capriles but i wouldn't call him a fascist. when he first entered politics in 1998, he was a member of the conservative christian democrat party (COPEI). but in 2012, when he ran for the presidency against chavez, capriles cast himself as center-left, saying he wanted to preserve welfare policies whilst enacting free-market reforms (bullshit). the dude represents the old elite that governed venezuela for decades. but i don't know he's done anything to deserve the treatment you describe (unlike perhaps some other figures…).
But Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said there is no discussion of releasing opposition activists who were arrested for violent and illegal behavior, insisting it would set a dangerous precedent of apologizing for "terrorism." […]
"These are citizens who are in jail for committing crimes that are punishable under Venezuelan law, and who also subjected Venezuela's population to terrorism."
A senior U.S. official told Reuters that Washington has pressed the government of President Nicolas Maduro to release political prisoners, and said that progress on the issue would be crucial to improving ties. […]
Venezuelan officials dispute the term "political prisoners," and point out that protesters damaged private property, restricted free transit by barricading thoroughfares, and set booby-traps that killed innocent bystanders.
"We will not allow any country or any extreme right-wing faction to justify terrorist actions," Rodriguez said. "That is inexcusable."
we know how hard the U.S. government cracks down on this sort of behavior (politically-motivated violence) on its own territory (much, much more harshly) … that said, this does not mean venezuela must act in the same way. in this case, it may perhaps be in venezuela's interest for Maduro's government to demonstrate good faith and an interest in turning over over a new leaf and easing political tensions with the opposition, by pardoning Daniel Ceballos (former mayor of San Cristol accused of abidicating his responsibility to keep the peace by supporting and financing street barricades and other violent actions in his city) and Leopoldo Lopez (charged with incitation of violence and damage to property, after encouraging anti-government street action and barricade protests that led to 40+ deaths).
A penalty of political disqualification against dissenter María Corina Machado is merely administrative and is due to "inconsistencies or concealment" in her sworn statements of assets, said on Wednesday Comptroller General Manuel Galindo Ballesteros.
Galindo explained that Machado failed to include social security benefits and some food bonus she received from the National Assembly when she was a deputy.
He added that pursuant to the Law against Corruption, if inconsistencies or concealment are found, the sanction of administrative disqualification for 12 months can be enforced without further proceedings.