I have more than a passing interest in Venezuela. In the 1960’s I lived there for three years. In the 1960’s Venezuela was the shining light of South America. It was not only prosperous but it had its first successful democratic elections. There was a growing middle class. A good description of the economy would be the statement made famous by President Kennedy, “A rising tide lifts all boats”. The job opportunities and life style for the average Venezuelan were better than the rest of South America. Since President ChÃ¡vez assumed power, the country has been in constant decline. You can describe his time in power as a lot of sizzle but no steak. There have been food shortages and power outages that can only be attributed to government mismanagement. Although the Los Angeles Times headline says, “President Hugo Chavez, hero to Venezuela’s poor, is dead”, he has not been very good to the poor if his policies failed to put food on the shelves. Maybe this time they will get a president and government who are more competent.