But for the time being the Bolivarian revolution (named after Simón Bolívar, South America’s independence hero) faces unprecedented difficulties. Everyday life is getting harder for Venezuelans. While the rest of Latin America is recovering strongly from the world recession, Venezuela is slumped in stagflation. The boom came to an abrupt end when the oil price plunged in the later months of 2008. Although it has since risen again strongly, Venezuela’s economy has not (see chart). Mr Chávez last month accepted that it “could” shrink again this year, confounding earlier official forecasts of growth. The IMF projects a contraction of Venezuela’s GDP of 2.6% this year, after a fall of 3.3% last year. By March, average wages (allowing for inflation) were 15% below their peak of 2007.