“Elites using the profits from the oil industry to control democracy in Venezuela does not even come close to socialism”
When those elites are the state, and they have nationalised the means of production, by definition that is literally socialism, doubly so when they are avowed socialists. I mean what more do you need?
Look, I’m no apologist for the sort of Latin American feudalism that Chavez replaced. I understand that he was able to come to power because that system used the state to benefit elites at the expense of everyday Venezuelans. I would never advocate returning to that sort of corruption.
But just as the Castro regime proved worse than the mafiosos it replaced in Cuba, so too have Chavez and Maduro proven worse that what came before.