A note to The Guardian's editor:
Its refreshing to see the Guardian finally reveal the truth about what has been happening in Venezuela. What is missing from your coverage is how the Chávez and Maduro regime have allowed the penetration of Venezuela's military, security and government agencies by Cubans sent by the Castro dictatorship.
It's easy for you to verify how Cubans control parts of the bureaucracy, such as public notaries and the SAIME, which issues government IDs. I myself saw them in both cases, they can be recognized by their accents.
Cubans are also reported to have influential positions in the armed forces and the SEBIN, the political secret police. It will harder for the Guardian to get this confirmed, but you can start by trying to interview senior retired military personnel who used to support Chávez but are speaking out against the Cuban interference in Venezuela. If you could interview Baduel you would get a treasure of information, but I doubt you can reach him.
Raúl Isaias Baduel, former Defense Minister, complained about the Cuban military presence inside Venezuela.
Raúl Isaias Baduel is a retired general, former Defense Minister under Chavez, jailed under false charges in 2008. Baduel was jailed after he complained about the Cuban military presence and opposed Chavez' proposed constitutional amendment to allow his indefinite reelection. .
Another issue looming over the horizon is the fact that Venezuela's oil reserves are mostly the Orinoco Oil Belt extra heavy crude, which happens to be identical to Canadian extra heavy. The difference between the two is reservoir temperature, which allows the Venezuelan crude to be produced using horizontal well's equipped with progressive cavity pumps. This however is only part of the story. That crude is so viscous the recovery factor will be, at best, 6 %. The official reserves assume steam will be injected soon to recover more oil. This means the Venezuelan fields will look like Canada's heavy oil fields in the future, that is, they will have tens of thousands of horizontal wells, and about half will be injecting steam.
It's evident Venezuela can and should move away from its dependence on this heavy oil to earn hard currency. But the oil dependent economy is much more easy to control by a dictatorship like Maduro (and his Cuban mentors) have in mind. The communist mind set doesn't help either, even more so when it's coupled to extreme corruption, an empowered military machine riddled with drug trafficking generals, and what I see as a neofascist ideology being imposed by the Cubans (who, under Raúl Castro, are trying to move to a more Chinese or Vietnamese style capitalist economy).
If you dig into these issues you will find a gold mine of potential articles which lay out how not to implement socialism, and how to avoid the Venezuelan dystopia.
Note: these links will allow the reader understand a little better what's going on in Venezuela: