Gallup: 63% of Venezuelans Thought Chavez Gov’t Was Corrupt

Patrick Burke | April 12, 2013 | 5:51pm EDT
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Hugo Chavez, the former president of Venezuela, who died on March 5, 2013. (AP)

( -- A new Gallup poll released on Friday revealed that 63 percent of Venezuelans thought the national government led by the late socialist President Hugo Chavez contained “widespread corruption.”

According to the poll, 63 percent viewed the government as corrupt while only 29 percent did not. Poll respondents were asked, “Is corruption widespread throughout the government, or not?”

“In 2012, 63% of Venezuelans believed there was corruption in government, similar to the 68% who said so in 2011. This would seem to support the opposition's narrative that Chavez ran a corrupt, unaccountable government,” according to Gallup’s poll summary.

The poll summary added that the results contradict one of Chavez’s main parts of his platform, which was to combat corruption.

“Chavez also made combatting corruption a major plank of his platform in his original campaign for office, indicating much of the country believes his government failed to deliver on this objective,” the summary said.

Moreover, 74 percent of Venezuelan adults said they do not feel safe walking alone at night, which according to Gallup was significantly higher than other Latin American countries.

“Moreover, this figure has remained remarkably high over the past six years, suggesting a failure by the Chavez government and the need for whomever his replacement is to address this important issue,” the summary said.

Corruption and safety issues aside, Chavez’s job approval rating was 57 percent in 2012, the highest percentage Gallup recorded in the last six years.

Socialist President Hugo Chavez died on Mar. 5 after battling cancer, only two weeks after he returned to Venezuela from Cuba, where he had received treatment. Chavez had been in power for 14 years.

This Sunday, Venezuelans will go to the polls and decide between Chavez-successor Nicolas Maduro and challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski.

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