Guys, Venezuel ais as much socialist as China is 100% communist. To say it has some local characteristics would be an understantement.
Venezuela was in crisis before. It was the standard “corrupt oligarchy perpetual basket case” held by militarty force by a few families. Think tropical Saudi Arabia. Great inequality, no investment. leaders would rotate nor per ideology but family. That split when Chaves came up with no pedigree. The horror! Most capital fled such anathema. But the worts was the drop in oil prices. If China has taught us something, is that you do not need democracy, freedom, etc. to hold a country in place. You need money. In the 21st century, with rural conditions still a la Dona Barbara, the government placatred the people wthrowing lands and home sat them. But teh damage of so many years not investing in education, health, savings, etc. just throwing teh money away during the CAPITALIST good years came fibnally to present the bill. Ignorant people who cannot fend for their lives. Lands remain unused as when they belongs to great landowners. Since it was cheaper to buy food abroad there is no food now with no oil money to pay for it. In syummary, it is a great lesson in what POPULISM, rather than socialism, and lack of investment in a society can do. But investing in global health and education is socialist, heaven forbid, right? And hence, people were not inoculated to follow pied pipers. Chaves just came at teh right time, he could have been pushing Mormonism or Moom ideology and people would have bought it, swallowed teh whole bait and line. It just had to happen under the hellish conditions they were. It is just that nwo it si widespread. And worse: most people in Venezuela do not see it, nor teh people abroad. They still think things will go back to “normal”.