The latest report Monitor País of the Venezuelan pollster Hinterlaces analyzes the “hopes and anguishes” of the population.
The in-depth analysis of the data is provided by Hinterlace’s José Useche in a piece titled “The Economic Crisis Takes its Toll” [pasar factura]. Useche does start by acknowledging that there is in fact a “rooted [arraigada] crisis,” and that there has been a “rise in distress, pessimism, sadness, and preoccupation compared with last March.”
However, according to the Monitos País, there is no simple cause and effect relation between the crisis and sadness; there is also an intervening variable: “the neurotization media campaigns and the economic crisis have, in only two months, affected the indicators of this study.”
“The campaign of destabilization and neurotization against the Venezuelan society has achieved an over-inflation [sobredimensionar] of the crisis and has fueled discontent,” further explains Useche.
There is little doubt for Useche that this campaign of “over-inflation” of the crisis is a strategy of the opposition: “it is a strategy that seeks to achieve the weakening of the presidential image by using mockery, excess, and discredit.”
This is not the first Monitor País that has used a form pop political-social-psychology rhetoric to back the government’s claim that perceptions of the crisis are being negatively manipulated by a coordinated media campaign. Last January Hinterlaces claimed that the opposition was “preparing the Venezuelan society for future neurotic responses.”
Back in its January report, Hinterlaces also warned of the coming psyco-social war: “The current campaign, executed by an experienced and professional ‘Mass Clinic’ [Clínica de Masas], constitutes a new chapter in a long planned process of accumulation of collective distress [angustia] that aims at rekindling the uncertainty and the feeling of defenselessness [of the people], and also at provoking the overflowing of irrational responses.” All part of an “insurrectional strategy –through a psyco-social war- that the most radical adversaries of the Bolivarian Revolution have declared…”
The current Monitor País analysis seems to be Hinterlaces’ way of arguing that its predictions are being “fulfilled.”