[Wilmer] Azuaje has blown the whistle on what he claims is a kleptocratic dynasty in Barinas where farms, businesses, banks and government contracts have been pocketed by the president's parents and five brothers.
The allegations come amid wider complaints that the revolutionary socialist movement known as "chavismo" has been hijacked by money-driven opportunists inside, or close to, the government.
Nationalisations, the creation of new state enterprises and a maze of price and currency controls have spawned well-connected millionaires nicknamed Boligarchs, after the independence hero revered by Chávez, Simón Bolívar .
Murky state finances meanwhile have put Venezuela 162nd, alongside Angola and Congo, out of 180 countries in Transparency International's corruption perceptions index.
Those who imagine that state theft of private resources under cover of "nationalization" will not end in private theft of said resources are fools. All anyone had to do to see this coming is read through Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom"; what Hugo Chavez is doing is nothing every other self-styled socialist revolutionary before him hasn't done, from Stalin to Mao to Kim Jong Il to Castro to Mugabe, all of them worse than those they cleared out of office.