What the article doesn’t mention is that the “coalition of political parties, labor unions and civilian groups” also includes the countries mainstream media (TV and newspaper) businesses who have been railing against Chavez ever since he took office. I seem to recall these opposition groups having outside support as well.
It makes it all the more amazing that he has maintained popularity despite this blanket media opposition. Admittedly Chavez is not a perfect leader and there are legitimate concerns about some of his, and his government’s, actions, but from what I have read he seems to be genuine in is concern for the poor in his country and he is doing something positive about it. That’s where his support is coming from – and perhaps that shouldn’t be so surprising.