· No matter what Condoleezza Rice says, Venezuelans are far more likely than most other nationalities in the region to say that their country is "totally democratic." On a scale of one to ten, Venezuelans rate their country a solid seven. US allies in the region fare far worse by their own electorate: Colombians give their country a 5.9, and Salvadorans rate a pitiful 4.8 on the democracy meter.
· Venezuelans tie for first place when asked whether democracy is the best form of government. Along with Uruguayans, a full 89% of the country support democracy. Only 60% of Salvadorans, and 54% of Paraguayans share their enthusiasm.
· Support for democracy has dramatically increased during the Chavez administration. Back in ’96 and ’97 only thirty-five percent (!) of Venezuelans were satisfied with their democracy. Today, that number is in the high-fifties
—the second highest in Latin America (yes, Uruguay again).
* Note, the assosiated charts are mine. If you want to look at the raw numbers, here's the Latinobarometro report.