Venezuela stands out among oil producing countries for its contradictions. Though it sits on the world’s largest proven oil reserves, it is not even among the top 10 producers. It has more than a century of experience with the oil industry, yet in recent years it has become a textbook example of the oil curse. It was a key player in the establishment of OPEC, but today it has little influence within the organization. Once an industry leader, it now holds many lessons for other governments on how not to run their oil sectors. In a nutshell, Venezuela has become a sad story of how bad policies and shortsighted governments can squander the family silver.