That's utter baloney. What he did was use the countries wealth accumulated from not only it's vast natural resources, but also it's emerging middle class entrepreneurs, and funnel them towards his and his cronies bank accounts on foreign shores. The Venezuelan people got very little of it. All that nonsense of him giving to the poor never really happened, except for a few months prior to each of his elections. The poor rioted several times during my stay in Venezuela against Chavez because they didn't receive the aid that Chavez promised them. Further, Chavez promised unsustainable development that would never have helped poor Venezuelans on the long run. I don't know where you are getting your information from but I can tell you what actually happened in Venezuela over the last decade. Non-stop re-occuring blackouts in cities, the poor being cut from their only access to clean water on a regular basis, brutal and often corrupt mismanagement of various public infrastructure systems, rise in prices of food and basic essentials etc. The poor are not better off than they were before Chavez. The only thing I can think of that's improved is the literacy rate, which while being good and all, was merely a positive sideffect of completely destroying Venezuela's education system. I can sit here for a long time and list individual examples of various industries that have been screwed by Chavez rule. PDVSA and the country's oil in general, is only the tip of the iceberg and should hardly be the only thing talked about. Venezuela wasn't just an oil giant, Venezuela has vast reserves of natural resources from metals to various energies of both the natural and renewable kind, a very rich expense of plains ideal for farmland(before Chavez took power, Venezuela was I believe the 7th largest exporter of grains to USA), a booming tourism industry, and huge industrial capability. Many of these industries have severely gone down in efficiency, or in the case of aquaculture, due to brutal mismanagement, is nearly dead. You know it's funny. Growing up in Canada I always thought that state-owned crown corporations (like Hydro-Canada or LCBO) were very efficient and productive and never understood the mass-hysteria right-wingers had with them. Then I moved to Venezuela and saw how 'efficiently' nationalized corporations were run.