The author, Dr R Evan Ellis is a research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute. I'm going to quote a couple of paragraphs from his study so you can see what experts within the U.S. Military intelligentsia are seeing:
"The current regime in Venezuela is locked in an economic and political death spiral from which multiple reinforcing dynamics make it difficult to escape calamity. During 16 years of “Bolivarian socialism,” anti-business policies including expropriations, price and currency controls, government corruption, and skyrocketing crime have destroyed virtually all productive activity in the country outside the oil sector. In agriculture, where producers battle government-encouraged land invasions and outright expropriations, difficulties in obtaining foreign currency to purchase supplies, and demands from government purchasing agents for kickbacks that must be paid in scarce dollars, production has collapsed, and the agriculturally rich, tropical country must now import almost three-fourths of the food that it requires to feed its people, with the result that, as the government’s foreign currency runs out, Venezuela’s poor find it even harder to eat.......l
The mismanagement of existing oil fields has inhibited production and accelerated the decline of mature fields, while deferred investments have forced the adoption practices that increase production costs. PdVSA’s failure to invest in “upgrader” facilities, for example, have forced it to purchase “light, sweet” crude to mix with the heavier, sour oil from Orinoco, in order to sell it to commercial refineries...........
The Venezuelan military leaders who are not impeded by their own corruption from defending democracy and the constitution must include in their calculations the Cuban Intelligence agents whom President Hugo Chavez, and his successor Nicolas Maduro, have permitted to become embedded within Venezuelan military structures to maintain a socialist regime in power."Memo: as of today the bolivar exchange rate is 630 to the U.S. Dollar.
Link to the full study at the U.S. War College website: