A welfare state is not socialism. Ask Herr Bismarck. Chavez did not institute socialism. Period. Any discussion presuming that is purely ideological raving. This is also shown by the way the oil industry keeps on trucking, somehow defying all the evils wrought by "socialism" on every other form of economic activity by its unholy defiance of the God-given laws of the market. Demonic powers making a evil but miraculous exception? Standard academic economics is incoherent and irrelevant. Like the Trinity, it doesn't seem like madness because familiarity and moral cowardice keep people from examining it.
Yes, Chavez did unsuccessfully attempt to seize power. The economic failure of Venezuelan capitalism to satisfy the material needs of the people, and the de facto monopolization of the political system by a minority, had created a system so rotten that the large majority of people were eager to see someone who really meant to make a change, i.e., Chavez. Chavez of course has taken power solely by winning elections, repeatedly. The greatest increas in his power came after the antidemocratic coup against him. Inevitably, the stink of failiure weakened the US puppets, increasing Chavez' power. Nonetheless, when Chavez lost an election, he abided by the results.
But this is all moot. When the freemarket democrats start killing trade uinionists and community leaders and opposition political leaders as a part of business as usual, their supporters here can be satisfied that the world is once again as they enjoy it.