Dorothy Kronick has a really interesting post on Venezuela in 538. What's particularly useful about it is the explanation of how Chavistas compare Venezuela now to how it was in the past, whereas opponents compare it to how it is underperforming relative to other Latin American countries today. She tops it off with a comparison to the economic successes Bolivia has been seeing under Evo Morales, who was used natural resource windfalls much more prudently and effectively, maintaining solid economic growth and low inflation.
She sums it up as follows:
What might help Venezuela out of its impasse, then, is a kind of reciprocal learning process: If the cosseted nostalgics could grasp that so much of what repels them in Bolivarian socialism mirrors what came before, and if supporters of Chavismo could see that the revolution reflects so much of Venezuela’s past, perhaps both sides would come around to the wisdom of the data behind the mainstream opposition’s regional comparisons. Absent this convergence, it’s hard to imagine a way forward for Venezuela.
Good points. What she does not address, though, is the "why" question. Why did Evo Morales, who uses similar rhetoric, professes a similar ideological orientation, and faces a similarly elite opposition, go in such a different and more successful direction? Perhaps because it's so uninterestingly stable at the moment, Bolivia gets no attention paid to it at all.