Bill Van Auken of the World Socialist Web Site has his doubts about Chavez's Venezuela:
"At the heart of the mounting economic and social crises are the contradictions underlying so-called Bolivarian 21st Century Socialism, inaugurated by the former paratrooper colonel Hugo Chavez and continued by his hand-picked successor Maduro.
"While workers have seen their real incomes steadily eroded, the country’s stock market is the highest performing in the world, up 281 percent compared to last year.
"Under Chavez and now Maduro, a whole new wealthy layer of the country’s ruling establishment, the so-called boli b urguesia, has grown up, enriching itself off of corruption, government contracts and financial speculation."
Venezuelan President Expels US Officials for Instigating and Financing Economic “Sabotage” By Bill Van Auken - Global Research, October 02, 2013 World Socialist Web Site
Drugs crime is widespread throughout Latin America.
(Crocodile Tears? Covering Crime in Venezuela venezuelanalysis.com)
In Venezuela, "there is the bloody gang warfare caused by drug trafficking, partly as a result of the presence of Colombian paramilitaries and guerrillas."
In Venezuela there is "a corrupt and underpaid police force; and the streets (are) awash with illegal arms, with estimates ranging from 6m-15m in a country of 29m."
(Caracas accuses media over crime coverage)
The UN’s latest figures show that the murder rate in Venezuela is 52 per 100,000.