Coming out of the mess that was pre-Chavez Venezuela, there was a heavy reliance on oil to fund the social projects that cut homelessness and poverty and unemployment by truly remarkable numbers, and led Venezuela to being the second most literate country in all of Latin America. Why would Venezuela opt to develop its infrastructure instead of fulfilling its social promises, when no one could have predicted such a sudden fall in oil prices? By the way, oil is internationally traded on the dollar, making foreign manipulation very easy. And this is without discussing the sanctions and economic war that have been waged on Venezuela. The US doesn’t want them to succeed and that’s the primary issue here.It's easy to blame US sanctions when you want to protect the culprit: mismanagement of the economy.
Venezuelan economy relied on oil as sole export, and lost half of its revenue in 4 years when the price of oil was cut in half in 2014.
THAT is why it is currently collapsing at the rate that it is.
Even since Maduro took power, housing has been built for two million poor Venezuelans. 500,000 a year, no small feat. The working class people have been the priority. How does one diversify their economy in a year or two while the US has spent decades failing to diversify its energy production?
Pre-Chavez Venezuela is at fault for being so underdeveloped that it wouldn’t allow for a diversification of the economy immediately, because the needs of the Venezuelan people needed to be met first.