I was in Caracas on business a long time ago, beautiful country and beautiful people. But I don't really follow their politics very closely. How can a country with so much wealth in natural resources screw up their economy / politics so badly? Is this class warfare? Oligarchs versus Socialists with the people trapped in the middle? Geez isn't there enough wealth there for everybody?
-20 years of deadly US sanctions
-Constant US meddling and interfering
-We're currently trying to seize their assets, the gas station Citgo here in the US is VZ owned and in the last 6 months we've seized $7 Billion in oil assets from them, so they're getting little return on their main export.
-The UK is currently withholding around $1 Billion owed to them.
-Saudi Arabia saturating the market in 2014 with their own oil driving VZ oil prices way down.
-A couple failed US coup attempts on Chavez and a couple on Maduro.
-Manipulated currency exchange rates specifically to skyrocket inflation on particular goods (Not Chavez or Maduro's doing)
And yes some bad politics and some bad leadership, every country has that, the US right now is a prime example. The fact is with our imperialistic foreign policy the US should face a regime change, not Venezuela.
Neoliberalism during the 80s and 90s ruined Venezuela as it did other countries around that time, then they elected Chavez who led the Bolivarian revolution against foreign imperialism and the regressive neolib policies, basically an extremely successful attempt at investing in the people instead of the corporations, it brought millions of Venezuelans out of poverty, nationalized their resources to help the people, etc. Maduro wasn't able to perpetuate what Chavez started.
What's annoying is to hear right-wingers here talk about how nationalizing their natural resources is a bad thing, right-wingers for some reason have a privatization fetish. If our politicians actually cared about 'America First' politics we'd nationalize a few of our own resources to bring our own people out of poverty. But you know, 'socialism'.