WASHINGTON, D.C.—An overwhelming majority of Venezuelan Americans, 80%, support U.S. companies operating in Venezuela, according to a new survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and APCO Insight. And 89% of Venezuelan Americans believe that U.S. companies will be critical to rehabilitating Venezuela’s economy when the political conditions change.
The survey finds that 73% of Venezuelan Americans believe that U.S. companies serve as a stabilizing force in a country that is fraught with political and economic turmoil. Regardless of political party affiliation, Venezuelan Americans believe U.S. companies are a force for good in Venezuela, providing well-paying jobs, investing in the development of local communities, and supplying the immediate health and nutrition needs of the Venezuelan people by partnering with hospitals and relief organizations.
“In countries like Venezuela, American companies are often the most significant source of financial support to employees, employees’ families, and their communities,” said U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President of the Americas Neil Herrington. “Forcing U.S. companies out of Venezuela will not accelerate a return to democracy. It will only increase suffering and slow economic recovery, while allowing America’s global competitors to fill the vacuum.”
Most of the survey participants do not believe pulling U.S. companies out of Venezuela would guarantee a return to democracy. Sixty-three percent of respondents and 76% of Venezuelan American respondents believe that pulling U.S. companies out will not guarantee a democratic transition. Furthermore, 80% of Venezuelan Americans believe that U.S. companies are critical for maintaining a U.S. foothold in Venezuela.
Additionally, findings include:
- Venezuela has a net negative image. Florida survey participants have a low regard for Venezuela – 31% are favorable and 49% are unfavorable.
- Survey respondents of Venezuelan origin view the situation differently. Unlike other survey respondents from Florida, including of Cuban or other Hispanic heritage, Venezuelan Americans have a more favorable impression of their country of origin.
- Venezuelan Americans are highly aware of the U.S. role in Venezuela. Venezuelan American respondents are quite knowledgeable of developments in Venezuela, with 40% aware of U.S. companies in the country and 60% aware of restrictions on U.S. companies.
- U.S. companies are critical for maintaining a U.S. foothold in Venezuela. Respondents believe that should U.S. companies leave, America’s adversaries like Russia, China and Iran would increasingly influence Venezuela’s future. Respondents also believe maintaining a U.S. presence in Venezuela is essential to prevent such global state actors seeking to undermine democracy from using their influence in-country to sow discord more broadly in the Western Hemisphere.
- 83% of Cuban Americans support U.S. companies operating in Venezuela provided that financial payments are not made to the current regime. Even when it comes to U.S. oil companies, 72% of respondents believe the U.S. government should allow companies to remain in Venezuela, and only 28% believe they should be required to leave the country altogether.
The results of the survey will be presented this afternoon during a U.S. Chamber of Commerce forum examining the role of business as a force for good in Venezuela. To watch the event, click here.
The results in this document are from a mixed mode (online and telephone) survey among a statewide audience of 800 likely 2020 voters in Florida. The confidence interval for this sample is ± 3.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
The survey was conducted September 18-25, 2020.