Venezuelans take part in a caravan toward the U.S.
Venezuelans take part in a caravan toward the U.S. José Torres, Reuters

Four in ten Venezuelans would consider leaving the country if Nicolás Maduro were to be reelected in July's presidential election, a new poll by firm Meganalisis showed.

This would mean an exodus of close to 10 million people, in addition to the millions who have already left over the past years. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), more than 7.7 million Venezuelans have already left the country to escape the dire economic conditions and lack of freedom imposed. That represents close to about 20% of the population.

Moreover, 45% of respondents claimed they did not know what they would decide while should Maduro win and only 16% expressed their desire to stay in the country if such an outcome were to take place.

The survey, based on interviews with 1,000 people across the country, also showed that a vast majority (74%) consider María Corina Machado to be the most reliable and credible political leader in the country, while 72% said they would vote for her if she were allowed to compete. Machado, who easily won a broad opposition primary and was set to be Maduro's main opponent, is currently banned from participating. So is her substitute candidate, Corina Yoris.

On the flip side of the survey, 81% of those polled do not want Maduro to remain in power while 10% want him to do so, and 9% said they do not know.

The results are a stark reminder of the despair many Venezuelans are feeling around the upcoming electoral process which takes place at a time in which the local Government ramps up its political persecution of opposition leaders, obstructs voting registration by Venezuelans living abroad and jeopardizes the Barbados agreement signed with the U.S. back in October 2023.

Representatives from both the Biden and Maduro secretly met in Mexico last week to continue negotiations toward freer and fairer elections, but the outcome has not been apparently fruitful.

In fact, the United States is set to reimpose sanctions on Venezuela as a result of the "lack of progress" seen by the Maduro government, said a State Department spokesperson on Monday.

"Absent progress by Maduro and his representatives in terms of implementing the road map's provisions, the United States will not renew the license when it expires on April 18, 2024," the spokesperson said.

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