This whole article is pretty facile analysis but you sort of show your hand here. Any evidence for this claim that Venezuelans refused to work because they were sitting fat and happy on oil revenues? Chavez’s social programs were aimed at reducing extreme poverty and were effective to that end while conditions were favorable.

Venezuelan political economy operates in a radically different manner than in the US because Venezuela is a petro-state and has been long before Chavez came to power. The only difference under Chavez was that citizens actually reaped some of the benefits of their own country’s natural resources rather than starving while the oligarchy grew astronomically rich.

You also only mention the effects of US imperialism in passing whereas US seizure of Venezuelan financial assets and relentless embargoes are hugely responsible for both causing and deepening the crisis. I do not defend the Maduro government and recognize even Chavez’s government suffered from corruption issues, but Venezuelan elections were rated by the Carter Center as freer and fairer than our own elections. There’s a reason the vast majority of (especially poor) Venezuelans prefer even Maduro to the neoliberal opposition and international interference.

Corporate accountant and former auditor with degrees in philosophy and accounting.

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