By Arthur Shaw

Over 60 percent of the Venezuelan people support socialism as a system that guarantees economic development, said Juan Scorza, director of the International Consulting Services (ICS).

The ICS carried out an opinion poll on the preferred economic system on January 23 among 1,200 people in major Venezuelan cities. ICS is a well-known liberal bourgeois research firm which often finds in favor of the revolutionary government and Pres. Hugo Chavez. Since there have been 15 major elections during the 14-year existence of the revolutionary government headed by Hugo Chavez, ICS is usually correct in its research findings, given the fact that the revolutionary forces and Hugo Chavez have won all but one of the 15 major electoral contests.

The ICS study also found only 21% of the Venezuelan people prefer capitalism. The Venezuelan reactionaries… who like to call themselves the “opposition” … may feel uneasy about this 21% popularity of capitalism, because this 21% implies that about half of Venezuelan reactionaries now have qualms about capitalism since reactionaries traditionally own about 40% of the Venezuelan electorate. The revolutionary forces should make “socialism or capitalism” a key issue in the October presidential election this year. That is, whether Venezuela will continue on its socialist path or will the country veer off course toward capitalism.

The ICS study found that an astonishing 80% of the Venezuelan people support “the missions.” The “missions” are social programs in health care, nutrition, education, housing, etc. that by-pass the government bureaucracy in their administration. Much of the government bureaucracy is infested with treacherous, corrupt, and incompetent middle class and bourgeois elements. In the main, competent left wing political forces … namely, anarchists, liberals, populists, progressives, and socialists, etc. … administer “the missions.”

Given the 20 point difference in popularity between socialism (at 60%) and “the missions” (80%), the Venezuelan people may believe the more popular “missions” are entities relatively independent of socialism. If so, the revolutionary forces must make the preservation or the destruction of “the missions” another key issue in the October presidential election. That is, whether Venezuela will keep or lose “the missions.”