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The latest polls show significant erosion in Chavez’ popular support. One problem he faces is his reliance on cash disbursements and other transfers to the population, which are based on high oil prices and a reasonably efficient oil industry. This, alas, isn’t what it used to be. Both oil prices and oil industry efficiency are down, and therefore the government is increasingly unable to disburse the cash. The problem is compounded because the rest of the economy is slowly dying as he continues nationalizing portions of the economy using a fairly adhoc method. As the cash flow ceases, the masses don’t support him the way they did, so it’s going to get very interesting in the next few years.
Comment by Braulio Perez