Poll: In Socialist Venezuela, Large Majorities are Christian, Social Conservatives

Catholic parishioners attend a mass prior to the traditional procession of the Nazareno de
YURI CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images

A poll published this week by the Venezuelan firm Meganálisis found an overwhelming majority of the country subscribes to Christian beliefs and holds socially conservative viewpoints such as opposition to legalized abortion and same-sex marriage.

Rubén Chirino Leañez, the president of Meganálisis, explained to Breitbart News on Tuesday that the results show that politicians promoting “the global agenda in favor of abortion and same-sex marriage has firm opposition within the Venezuelan citizenry” and politicians who prioritize those issues will meet with “decisively popular rejection.”

The results of the survey are particularly important given the lack of socially conservative political movements in the country. Venezuela is a socialist dictatorship let by tyrant Nicolás Maduro, who maintains a stranglehold on power despite not legally being in charge of the country since 2019.

While Venezuelans elected his predecessor, dictator Hugo Chávez, and thus willingly opted for socialism as a government policy, the anti-chavista opposition is largely characterized by also promoting socialism – giving Venezuelans few authentic alternatives to leftist policies. Three of the nation’s largest opposition parties — Popular Will, Democratic Action, and A New Era — are full member parties of the Socialist International. Juan Guaidó, the legitimate but powerless president of Venezuela, was a Popular Will member before abandoning the party in 2020.

The August Meganálisis survey was conducted between August 20 and 22 and polled 1,017 people in all 23 states and the Caracas federal district of the country.

Venezuela's National Assembly head Juan Guaido declares himself the country's "acting president" during a mass opposition rally against leader Nicolas Maduro, on the anniversary of the 1958 uprising that overthrew military dictatorship, in Caracas on Wednesday. | Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela’s National Assembly head Juan Guaido. (Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images)

Asked to identify their religious beliefs, 80.7 percent of Venezuelan respondents said they were Catholic, and another nearly 14 percent identified as Evangelical, making the nation about 95 percent Christian. Only about 4.3 percent identified as atheist and 0.87 percent identified as Jewish.

Asked about their views on social political issues, 83.35 percent of respondents said they opposed legalizing abortion. Another 9.6 percent answered “don’t know,” which was larger than the about seven percent who said they supported legalized abortion.

A pregnant woman wearing a face mask walks past a mural “Humanized birth plan” in Caracas, on January 19, 2021. (FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images)

On same-sex marriage, 70.3 percent said they opposed its legalization, while 22.8 expressed support.

“Trying to impose this global [social liberal] agenda in Venezuela means, for those attempting it, to capitalize on elevated popular rejection, visceral religious opposition, and fostering adverse social reactions unprecedented in any other nation,” Chirino, the Meganálisis president, told Breitbart News about the results. “That would presumably result in a scandalous defeat for the pro-legal abortion and same-sex marriage agenda.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony marking the start of the judicial year at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela, January 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony marking the start of the judicial year at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela, January 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

Both issues have not been at the forefront of Venezuelan politics in decades, given the widespread shortages of basic food, medicine, fuel (despite Venezuela being home to the world’s largest known oil reserves), and rampant use of state violence against peaceful protests and unarmed civilians. The socialist anti-Maduro “opposition” parties do not prioritize the issue, but at least one, Popular Will, has pronounced itself in favor of legalized abortion and same-sex marriage.

Popular Will describes itself as a “progressive” and “social democrat” party, defining progressivism on its website as “oriented towards certain positions tied to personal liberty, such as the defense of sexual and emotional freedom, environmentalism, local or regional culture, [and] the right to abortion,” among others.

The Venezuelan opposition has also largely downplayed any religious overtones in its advocacy against Maduro – a dramatic difference from the violent socialist regime itself, which has attempted to hijack Christianity for its own ends. Maduro has extended the length of the Christian season repeatedly for nearly the past half-decade, sometimes heralding in the occasion as early as in late November. Maduro’s henchmen have rewritten Christmas songs, declared Jesus himself a “chavista,” and claimed to have the blessing of the faith.

“I greet all the people of good, who today renews their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,” Maduro said in a message during the 2019 Easter season, equating the Romans who executed Jesus to the United States. “The rebel Christ who never bowed to the Roman Empire and who gave his life for our salvation, in his teachings we get the strength to continue building a prosperous Venezuela. Amen!”

Both the Maduro regime and the socialist opposition have failed to generate any significant public support in the country. In August’s Meganálisis poll, over 70 percent of respondents who identified as being in opposition to the Maduro regime answered “nobody” when asked which leaders in the opposition they trusted. Juan Guaidó, the legal president of the country, received only 3.8 percent support.

As with prior surveys, however, distaste for opposition leaders did not result in the finding of any significant support for socialism. Nearly 85 percent of respondents described socialism as “the primary cause of low quality of life in Venezuela,” the survey found, a result that Chirino told Breitbart News reveals significant “collective resentment towards socialism” generally, in both the regime and the opposition.

“The brutal ideological offensive that for decades publicized, sold, and applied socialism through the government in Venezuela has resulted in generating the most visceral aversion and rejection possible,” Chirino concluded.

Venezuela is now home to the world’s largest migrant crisis; as a result of socialism, over 6 million residents have fled the country, most remaining within the Western Hemisphere.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.


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