The government has indeed made some errors.
Maduro would not float the currency forever, hence inflation raged. But the inflation was caused by the economic war. But still. They had some ideological opposition to floating the currency. Also they thought it would be extremely unpopular by wiping out savings.
That was a huge screw-up for the longest time. Sure, the opposition caused the problem, but Maduro didn’t have the guts to fix it. Maduro’s not an idiot. He just didn’t have the guts to make the tough choice. Chavez would have done it.
And it is true that they did not keep up the oil infrastructure well. With the oil rents they could choose to sink the money back into infrastructure or give to the people via social programs. Granted, they did both but they privileged giving it out as social programs, and this did cause infrastructure deterioration.
There’s other stuff too. All that talk of death squads?
Well, it’s bullshit as they don’t kill the opposition. What’s going on is there is an insane crime problem, mostly in the slums, for the longest time. Reasons are complex but it’s mostly habit. The crime rate has been awful forever. Well, the state police raid the slums to try to deal with this crazy crime wave, and they’ve been pretty vicious about it. The “death squads” are just cops executing criminals or criminal suspects during raids in the slums. It’s dirty but it’s not political.
A couple of opposition people fell out of high windows while being interrogated by the internal police. I believe they were thrown out. These guys were officers in the military who participated in coup plots against the government, so I guess the state was particularly mad at them for being traitors.
The prisons are horrible and there are regular prison riots all the time. They are put down by force. Latest one, 37 people died. It’s a complex problem going on forever, but Chavez was trying very hard to do something about it. The penal system and cops have always been brutal and vicious. It’s an institutional thing. This goes back before Chavez even.
Yes, there are ELN and FARC guerrillas in Venezuela, and yes, they do use it as a hideout. The Chavistas mostly leave them alone, but there have been some arrests.
The guerrillas are now running a lot of the gold mining areas and taxing the gold. Actually the guerrilla brought the crime rate down a lot, and they were much less brutal than the drug gangs or even the Chavista government! There are 1,500 ELN guerrillas in the gold mining areas right now. The government just leaves them alone, doesn’t bother them, and lets them run those regions. Mostly they just turn a blind eye to them.
They’re not perfect.