90% of Venezuelans want a U.S. Marine invasion?

In a poll suggesting that U.S. Marines would be welcomed by Venezuelans the way nearby Grenadians welcomed them in 1983, the Meganalisis pollsters said that 89.5% of Venezuelans would support a foreign military invasion to end Nicolas Maduro's socialist dictatorship. Breitbart has the story here:

An overwhelming majority of Venezuelans would support a foreign military intervention to oust socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro and believe that the rogue regimes in Russia and Cuba have colonized their country, the national polling firm Meganálisis found in a survey published Monday.

Asked if the federal legislature, the National Assembly, should authorize foreign military missions in the country, 89.5 percent of Venezuelans said yes. Another 91.2 percent said they did not believe it was possible for Venezuelans to remove Maduro without foreign military intervention. About 88 percent said they did not trust the nation’s armed forces.

If such a number is true, it would amount to a sea change in Latin American sentiment, given that for years, the dominant narrative in that region has been 'yanqui imperialismo bad.' Suddenly they'd like a little of that? Well, yes, according to the Breitbart report, because Venezuelans are already being ruled by Cuban imperialismo, and Russian imperialismo, as the respondants say. You can't pick your imperialist, but if you could, the report suggests that gringo is best.

And, it could be a bellwether to make U.S. military intervention easier and more likely, given that U.S. officials have said that the matter is 'still on the table.' If a population is with the Marines, it makes any potential intervention easier and shorter.

It's hard to say how reliable this poll is, given that I don't know much about the firm Meganalisis. The Miami Herald has cited them as reliable - with one of their top correspondents, Jim Wyss, citing their work in previous reports. Points for reliability there.

I also know that a different firm, Datanalisis, is a better-known and reputedly reliable Venezuelan polling firm, too. About nine months ago, they had Venezuelan sentiment at about 35% favorable to military intervention as of last September. A left-wing professor from the U.S. said he worked with them, so there might be a bit of under-reporting of the figure, though in his piece here, he does not seem noticibly biased or Chavista-oriented. At the same time, Meganalisis reported an 84.3% favorability toward foreign military intervention. 

What we can conclude, then, is that support has risen, though it's hard to say how great it is.

Anecdotally, it would seem that a rise makes sense. The dictatorship has dug its heels to a greater extent than it ever has, in the face of exponential failures of governance - blackouts, starvation, medical failure, economic meltdown, and a refugee flood. The election system is utterly rotten with fraud and now the human rights violations are beginning. The dictatorship was last seen slaughtering protesting Venezuelans with vehicles in the streets this month and its death squads have literally been broacasting their beheadings of opponents. The dictatorship seems to have reached peak terror now. In circumstances like that, it's pretty natural to want the problem gone the fastest way it can be gone - which would mean calling for the Marines.

Second, Venezuela's top democracy fighters, people who have put their lives on the line in the streets such as Maria Corina Machado, have said this was the only option they could see left. Two top exiled leaders, Ricardo Hausmann at Harvard University, and former Caracas governor and United Nations Security Council president, Diego Arria, have supported her. Arria, in fact has cited the United Nation humanitarian intervention in Bosnia in the early 1990s as a valid reason for sweeping out the dictatorship in Caracas. Another prominent Latin American (from Uruguay), Luis Almagro, who leads the Organization of American States, has said intervention could be 'justified by international law.' One thing is certain about all of these leaders from Venezuela: They themselves are extremely popular among Venezuelans and it's unlikely they would be if they were calling for something unpopular. That ticks the scale a little further toward credibility for the Meganalisis poll.

The favorable factors can be balanced by history, which is to say, that maybe the poll was a push-poll for intervention, given that ... sorry to say ... the U.S. (and plenty of other states besides) has a bit of history of going to war under artificial or errant triggers, such as the Tonkin Gulf incident, or perhaps the Iraq conflict's quest of weapons of mass destruction. It would be useful to know who paid for the poll and why it was done. Does someone want to lay the groundwork for going to war? One hopes not, because it would make life miserable for the Marines if something like this were used as a pretext and the ground conditions were not there.

Now, make no mistake, probably the easiest way to hose Venezuela out probably would be a Marine intervention. But it might not be the right intervention - wars cost U.S. blood and treasure with quagmires always a risk, and people can be ungrateful. The poll does tell us a bit about rising sentiment in favor of foreign intervention. But it's not enough to justify intervention. It just might be helpful as a puzzle piece on the way to resolving Venezuela's intractible crisis.

Image credit: Airman Apprentice Shannon Garcia, U.S. Navy, public domain

 

In a poll suggesting that U.S. Marines would be welcomed by Venezuelans the way nearby Grenadians welcomed them in 1983, the Meganalisis pollsters said that 89.5% of Venezuelans would support a foreign military invasion to end Nicolas Maduro's socialist dictatorship. Breitbart has the story here:

An overwhelming majority of Venezuelans would support a foreign military intervention to oust socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro and believe that the rogue regimes in Russia and Cuba have colonized their country, the national polling firm Meganálisis found in a survey published Monday.

Asked if the federal legislature, the National Assembly, should authorize foreign military missions in the country, 89.5 percent of Venezuelans said yes. Another 91.2 percent said they did not believe it was possible for Venezuelans to remove Maduro without foreign military intervention. About 88 percent said they did not trust the nation’s armed forces.

If such a number is true, it would amount to a sea change in Latin American sentiment, given that for years, the dominant narrative in that region has been 'yanqui imperialismo bad.' Suddenly they'd like a little of that? Well, yes, according to the Breitbart report, because Venezuelans are already being ruled by Cuban imperialismo, and Russian imperialismo, as the respondants say. You can't pick your imperialist, but if you could, the report suggests that gringo is best.

And, it could be a bellwether to make U.S. military intervention easier and more likely, given that U.S. officials have said that the matter is 'still on the table.' If a population is with the Marines, it makes any potential intervention easier and shorter.

It's hard to say how reliable this poll is, given that I don't know much about the firm Meganalisis. The Miami Herald has cited them as reliable - with one of their top correspondents, Jim Wyss, citing their work in previous reports. Points for reliability there.

I also know that a different firm, Datanalisis, is a better-known and reputedly reliable Venezuelan polling firm, too. About nine months ago, they had Venezuelan sentiment at about 35% favorable to military intervention as of last September. A left-wing professor from the U.S. said he worked with them, so there might be a bit of under-reporting of the figure, though in his piece here, he does not seem noticibly biased or Chavista-oriented. At the same time, Meganalisis reported an 84.3% favorability toward foreign military intervention. 

What we can conclude, then, is that support has risen, though it's hard to say how great it is.

Anecdotally, it would seem that a rise makes sense. The dictatorship has dug its heels to a greater extent than it ever has, in the face of exponential failures of governance - blackouts, starvation, medical failure, economic meltdown, and a refugee flood. The election system is utterly rotten with fraud and now the human rights violations are beginning. The dictatorship was last seen slaughtering protesting Venezuelans with vehicles in the streets this month and its death squads have literally been broacasting their beheadings of opponents. The dictatorship seems to have reached peak terror now. In circumstances like that, it's pretty natural to want the problem gone the fastest way it can be gone - which would mean calling for the Marines.

Second, Venezuela's top democracy fighters, people who have put their lives on the line in the streets such as Maria Corina Machado, have said this was the only option they could see left. Two top exiled leaders, Ricardo Hausmann at Harvard University, and former Caracas governor and United Nations Security Council president, Diego Arria, have supported her. Arria, in fact has cited the United Nation humanitarian intervention in Bosnia in the early 1990s as a valid reason for sweeping out the dictatorship in Caracas. Another prominent Latin American (from Uruguay), Luis Almagro, who leads the Organization of American States, has said intervention could be 'justified by international law.' One thing is certain about all of these leaders from Venezuela: They themselves are extremely popular among Venezuelans and it's unlikely they would be if they were calling for something unpopular. That ticks the scale a little further toward credibility for the Meganalisis poll.

The favorable factors can be balanced by history, which is to say, that maybe the poll was a push-poll for intervention, given that ... sorry to say ... the U.S. (and plenty of other states besides) has a bit of history of going to war under artificial or errant triggers, such as the Tonkin Gulf incident, or perhaps the Iraq conflict's quest of weapons of mass destruction. It would be useful to know who paid for the poll and why it was done. Does someone want to lay the groundwork for going to war? One hopes not, because it would make life miserable for the Marines if something like this were used as a pretext and the ground conditions were not there.

Now, make no mistake, probably the easiest way to hose Venezuela out probably would be a Marine intervention. But it might not be the right intervention - wars cost U.S. blood and treasure with quagmires always a risk, and people can be ungrateful. The poll does tell us a bit about rising sentiment in favor of foreign intervention. But it's not enough to justify intervention. It just might be helpful as a puzzle piece on the way to resolving Venezuela's intractible crisis.

Image credit: Airman Apprentice Shannon Garcia, U.S. Navy, public domain