Venezuela remains a looter state, a land where the incompetent rule because nobody is better than anyone else. This the reason that the state oil company fired 22,000 technicians in 2003 while their employment numbers swelled by a factor of 3 with inexperienced, politically motivated “jobs”. While oil output is two-thirds of what it could be if they had followed their original plan, global oil prices swelled the national treasury but the debt has skyrocketed as politically-oriented budgeting and massive inefficiency has weighed down the economy.
This is also the reason that someone as inexperienced and incompetent as Iris Varela can become Ministers for Prisons, and keep her job even after a débâcle like the Uribana Prison tragedy where a simple sweep for weapons resulted in 58-61 dead. Varela blamed the violence on Globovision announcing the search when in fact it was the head of the prison that told Globovision.
Varela quickly ruled that the National Guard had not abused the prisoners but also decided to close the prison and relocate prisoners to other overcrowded facilities. She and every other Chavista running the government refuse any responsibility over their actions, and she continues to hold her job.
After 14 years of mismanagement, nationalizations, handouts to supporters and where every decision was political and enemies of all kinds blamed for the fall-out, the country remains in the hands of the Chavista's. No one is better off. The electric system is falling apart as funds for upkeep and expansion were squandered on projects that had propaganda value.
Everything from a car factory, satellite launch to opening of government grocery stores were used by Hugo Chavez to present a giant image, then those things were always ignored when they failed to produce the promised results. Every industry that was nationalized saw production drop, from steel to coffee etc. The banking system is a joke, with tight controls on exchange rates that make no economic sense. They shut down opposition media outlets and bullied the few that remained into subservience, giving the Chavistas undisputed control of the airwaves.
Today, Hugo Chavez is dead in all but name and his top two cohorts are fighting over the carcass of Caracas. The looting continues and will continue until the final chapter of this sad story ends.