In the league of "corruption that bankrupts nations" Venezuela is an outlier. The corruption is of such scale that over a quarter of Venezuela's population have decided that exile and asylum seeking are better options. Corruption is, and has been, one of the fundamental policies of chavismo. Trillions of dollars have been lost since Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999. Whereas Chavez formulated the policy, Rafael Ramirez was hand-picked as executor in chief.