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A poll published this weekend by the firm Meganálisis found overwhelming national distrust in socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro’s handling of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic in Venezuela, particularly regarding the number of cases and deaths the regime attributes to the virus.

Maduro’s regime, which has not ruled Venezuela legitimately since at least January 2019, has implemented a bizarre alternate lockdown method that requires Venezuelans to be under strict lockdown for seven days, followed by a week of no restrictions. Venezuelans have access to no vaccines at press time, though Maduro has promised mass vaccinations using Chinese, Cuban, and Russian products beginning this summer. Instead, Maduro has promoted the use of deadly ozone gas and “Carvativir,” an oil made of oregano and thyme, to fight the coronavirus. Maduro’s “cures” resulted in a month-long ban from publishing posts on Facebook that is currently still in vigor.

Nearly 82 percent of Venezuelans, surveyed from a pool representing all 24 states and regions of the country, answered negatively to the question “Do you believe and trust in the official statistics on coronavirus in Venezuela that the government of Nicolás Maduro announces on a daily basis?” Only 11 percent of respondents said they trusted the numbers, while 7.25 percent answered, “I don’t know.”

Meganálisis, which regularly organizes polls on attitudes towards the region and the general decline of the country under socialism, conducted its latest survey on March 29.

The last time Meganálisis asked the public for its trust rate in national statistics – October 18, 2020 – 72.56 percent of respondents said they did not trust the Maduro regime’s numbers. Only 12.35 percent said they believed the numbers. While these numbers reflect poorly on the Maduro regime’s ability to generate public trust, distrust appeared significantly higher in late March than in mid-October:

Meganálisis also asked respondents, “How has the Maduro government handled the vaccination process against coronavirus in Venezuela?” Again, an overwhelming majority said the regime had managed the issue poorly: 62.3 percent said “very poorly,” and another 22.8 percent said “poorly.” Only about six percent said the regime had handled the vaccine issue “well” or “very well.”

“These opinions are reinforced with the announcement and government propaganda regarding vaccines, which do not inspire confidence among citizens, as is the case of the Cuban, Chinese, and Russian vaccines,” Rubén Chirino Leañez, the vice president of Meganálisis, told Breitbart News.

Much of the distrust appears to be the product of a lack of access to proper health care, which has resulted in few Venezuelans receiving proper PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests when told they probably have a coronavirus infection. In October, Meganálisis found that 87 percent of those who live with someone whose doctor diagnosed them with the coronavirus never received a PCR test. A small minority of these did receive “rapid” tests that experts warn are often inaccurate.

The March poll found a modest increase in those diagnosed with the coronavirus without access to PCR tests: 89.4 percent of respondents. Another 89 percent said they treated those presumed coronavirus infections on their own, with no professional medical care.

Those diagnosed without a test do not form part of the nation’s official statistics:

Venezuela’s “vice president,” Delcy Rodríguez, is in charge of publishing coronavirus statistics on a daily basis and has been publishing increasingly alarming rates of infection in the past week. Venezuela experienced record-high numbers of the coronavirus back-to-back on successive days last week. On the day for which the latest statistics are currently available, Sunday, Venezuela documented 1,786 coronavirus cases, once again breaking the one-day record.

The Maduro regime has documented 166,123 cases of the Chinese coronavirus within its borders since the pandemic began, a number that has increased significantly in the past week, but international experts have continued to question this given how much smaller it is than for Venezuela’s neighbors, who – unlike socialist Venezuela – maintain functional hospital systems and well-stocked pharmacies. In Brazil, for example, the government has documented nearly 13 million cases of the Chinese coronavirus. In Colombia, that number is 2.4 million.

In remarks during his regular nationally televised broadcast on Sunday, Maduro insisted his regime “is two steps ahead of the pandemic,” comparing Venezuela’s infection rate to the United States’ rate. Venezuela is home to about 28 million people, 270 million fewer than the United States.

“They permanently demonize us but don’t do the same to Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, the U.S., or Europe,” Maduro complained. “The New York Times, the Miami Herald are in a permanent campaign against Venezuela. They are incapable of recognizing advance, no achievement, not a single one of the successes we have had against the pandemic.”

Maduro insisted the current rapid rise in infection rates in Venezuela was entirely Brazil’s fault.

Maduro also announced the cancelation of a “free week” under his 7+7 program, extending the currently in-place lockdown, again allegedly because of the Brazilian government’s insufficient actions against the pandemic.

The socialist regime has also responded to an increase in cases by organizing “anti-imperialist” public events. Members of Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) published photos this weekend of socialists gathering to burn effigies of various individuals and concepts that Maduro has deemed enemies of the “Bolivarian Revolution,” such as Colombian President Iván Duque and “the imperialist blockade,” meaning international sanctions on the regime in response to its long record of human rights abuses:

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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