I am not an totally familiar with Venezuelan Science situation, but I am
skeptical of the tone of the article posted from Science.
I did a quick google search and found
The article is over a year old but it has some relevant information
"Overall public and private spending on science has quadrupled, to US$2.5
billion per year, the government says, reaching a very respectable 2.1% of
gross domestic product in 2007."
In general Chavez has been doing an end run around the established
institutuions that have opposed his changes. I know this has allowed
extensive popular participation by those who had formerly been excluded.
This has been true in education as well.
The contrast in the two pictures in the posted article flashed back in my
mind when I read the following passage from the link above.
"Professors also have the right to choose their own students. Their tendency
to choose from the upper middle class may explain some of the student
protests against Chávez's socialist government."
I suspect that anyone genuinely interested in a Science for the People
should be looking into how it is really playing out in Venezuela. I believe
there is a fairly extensive program that encourages these initiatives.