News / Americas

Most Venezuelans Think Chavez Will Recover

Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez take part in a rally in Caracas to commemorate 24 years of the Patriotic Rebellion of 1989, Feb. 27, 2013,
Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez take part in a rally in Caracas to commemorate 24 years of the Patriotic Rebellion of 1989, Feb. 27, 2013,
Reuters
Most Venezuelans expect President Hugo Chavez to recover from cancer and return to active rule even though he has been in hospital and virtually unseen for two-and-a-half months, a poll showed on Tuesday.

Local pollster Hinterlaces said 60 percent of interviewees believe Chavez will be cured and back to governing, while 14 percent think he will recover but be unable to rule again, and 12 percent view his state as incurable.

Chavez, 58, underwent a fourth operation for cancer in Cuba on December 11. Last week he returned to Venezuela and was whisked to a military hospital in Caracas.

Apart from four photos of him in hospital in Havana, the socialist president has not been seen or heard in public, with even friend and ally Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, unable to enter his room on two hospital visits.

The surprisingly optimistic view of Venezuelans - in contrast to a more pessimistic consensus among diplomats and analysts that Chavez's 14-year rule is probably nearing its end - came in the presentation of two recent surveys by Hinterlaces.

"Far from weakening 'Chavismo,' far from reducing the popular support for President Chavez, his absence and illness have strengthened the bonds of affection and identification with the president's ideals," Hinterlaces head Oscar Schemel said.

FILE - Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro (L) listens to National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello speak during the assembly inauguration in Caracas, January 5, 2013.FILE - Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro (L) listens to National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello speak during the assembly inauguration in Caracas, January 5, 2013.
x
FILE - Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro (L) listens to National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello speak during the assembly inauguration in Caracas, January 5, 2013.
FILE - Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro (L) listens to National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello speak during the assembly inauguration in Caracas, January 5, 2013.
Previously released results from the same surveys showed that if Chavez is forced out, his vice president and preferred successor, Nicolas Maduro, is favored to win an election in a possible match-up against opposition leader Henrique Capriles.

Hinterlaces gave Maduro 50 percent of potential votes,  compared with 36 percent for Capriles.

The opposition leader has publicly accused Hinterlaces of  pro-government bias, and political polls in Venezuela are notoriously controversial and divergent.

The survey also showed that 60 percent of people view the devaluation of the bolivar currency earlier this month as negative for Venezuela. But the government otherwise scored high marks for its social welfare policies and ability to improve lives.

Accused by the opposition of lying and putting a gloss on Chavez's state, officials are urging Venezuelans to be patient.

"The president has the right to take whatever time he needs to recover ... We have the patience to wait for him, to understand him and to accompany him in his battle for life," Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said on Tuesday. "We can't succumb to the blackmailing of the right-wing - and its cruelty and inhumanity - which is clamoring for the president to appear, to intervene, to be sworn in right now."

Chavez missed his scheduled January swearing-in for the new, six-year term he won in last year's presidential poll.

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Brazil, Argentina Seek to Resolve Colombia-Venezuela Border Spat

Venezuelan President last month closed several crossings, deported 1,300 Colombians in what he called a crackdown on smuggling, crime in turbulent area
More

Brazil Prosecutors Charge Lula's Former Chief of Staff

Jose Dirceu, who served in post from 2003-2005, is one of the most senior members of ruling Workers' Party targeted by prosecutors in massive scandal
More

Venezuela's Lopez Set to Give Closing Remarks at Trial

Opposition leader is charged with inciting violence in bloody protest movement in 2014, could face more than 10 years in prison
More

Guatemala's Ex-President Goes to Court After Night Behind Bars

Perez Molina's jailing followed historic day in which he resigned and country's Congress swore in VP Alejandro Maldonado to serve remainder of his term
More

Puerto Rican Voters Prized by Democrats, Republicans

Five million Puerto Ricans live on US mainland, including nearly 1 million in key swing state of Florida, and they care about what happens back on the island
More

Russia, Venezuela Seek to Combat Oil Price Woes

The price of oil has roughly halved since last year due to oversupply and a decision by the OPEC cartel not to cut production
More