Caracas, March 30, 2015
Over 5 million Venezuelans have voiced their opposition to the Executive Order issued by the White House on March 9, which brands Venezuela an "unusual and extraordinary threat" and imposes new sanctions.
Over the past week, millions of Venezuelans have mobilized in a nationwide petition drive, signing their names to an open letter addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama urging him to immediately repeal the executive order.
In response to President Maduro's call for 10 million signatures, the grassroots initiative has taken off dramatically over the past week with armies of volunteers manning over 760 sign-up points in public squares throughout the nation as well as going door to door in order to reach those with special needs.
President Nicolas Maduro has characterized this effort as an "emphatic success" and called for it to continue during Holy Week vacations. It is hoped that Venezuelans will continue pledging their signatures from "highways, beaches, and mountains" in a show of national unity in the face of U.S. aggression.
Venezuela Delivers Formal Letter of Protest to US Embassy
Meanwhile, on Friday, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez confirmed that the Venezuelan government had delivered a formal letter of protest to the U.S. embassy in Caracas urging the Obama administration to repeal the executive order.
Rodriguez underscored that the letter was the latest in a series of diplomatic overtures initiated by the Bolivarian government, suggesting that continued intransigence on the part of Washington may oblige Venezuela to appeal to international legal mechanisms.
The foreign minister also noted that Venezuela enjoys the backing of a significant segment of the international community, which has manifested its solidarity with the Bolivarian government via a series of statements by various multilateral blocs, including UNASUR, ALBA, the Non-Aligned Movement, CELAC, and the G77+China.
“This should allow the government of the United States to reflect. Look at a map, a map that shows the whole world is telling the U.S, its government and its administration to cease aggression against Venezuela," stated Rodriguez, pointing to a world map highlighting the multitude of nations which have voiced support for Venezuela in response to U.S. threats.
New Poll Finds 65% of Venezuelans "Optimistic"
In the midst of an international media campaign which has consistently presented Venezuela as a nation mired in economic and political turmoil, a new survey by the private polling firm Hinterlaces has found that 65% of Venezuelans chose "optimistic" as the term that best describes their emotional state, a four point increase over January.
Meanwhile, those who describe themselves as "pessimistic" or "frustrated" declined by four points to 34% and and 21% respectively.
Moreover, the percentage of Venezuelans who characterized themselves as "hopeful" rose five points since January to 78%.
For political analyst Jose Vicente Rangel, the poll figures as a critical vote of confidence for a government besieged by economic war, systematic misrepresentation in the international press, and U.S. sanctions.
"An important sector of Venezuelan society is perceiving a unified, cohesive government that is working to problem solve, Chavimo has regained positive expectations and hope, wielding arguments and banners [of support] in order to confront the discourse of pessimism and fatalism," stated the former high ranking government official on his television program.
The poll was conducted between the 14th and 18th of March and featured 200 respondents from throughout the country.