Quico says: Pretty much everything you need to know about Chávez's economic model you can learn from this chart. It's an economic model of crushing simplicity:
1. Pump oil out of the ground
2. Export it
3. Import everything else
Of all of Chávez's empty bluster, the most obnoxious may be his claim to be pioneering a new model of economic emancipation for the third world. Very clearly, only countries sitting on top of 70+ billion barrels of crude need apply.
The unsustainability of it all is too plain to merit much comment. My fear, though, is that when a crisis does come, it will be used as a pretext to ratchet authoritarianism up a notch. A government never short of enemies has every reason to manufacture some scapegoats. It won't be pretty.