Russ Dallen, head of the Miami-based investment firm Caracas Capital Markets, expects the Venezuelan government to take over Chevron’s operations itself and predicts Maduro’s administration will eventually run them into the ground. That is what happened to a long list of U.S.-built factories that fell into the socialist government’s hands when they decided to leave or were expropriated, he said.

“It may take years of decay for the government to destroy the Tiffany diamond that Chevron has built there,” Dallen said. “I have no doubt they’ll be able to destroy it.”