The country was in a very bad situation… at the time. I mean, you compare it with today and is kinda ridiculous, but at the time it was a shock.
But the interesting thing is that apart from a lot of bonehead and stupid moves from Chavez and company and the destruction of democracy they have been slowly going for in all their years in power… they have just done exactly the same as the previous governments.
Venezuela pre-Chávez: inmense oil-boom causes distorsion as the governments start spending money like crazy, then oil prices contraction mean you end up with a bunch of debt there is no way in hell to pay so it needs drastic readjustments measures that of course make the population even poorer
Venezuela with Chávez: inmense oil boom causes distorton as the government starts spending money EVEN more crazy that before, then the oil price contraction means you end up with a bunch of debt, not to mention a bunch of imports you cant no longer pay for because of course you destroyed national industry, which leaves the people even poorer.
The revolution was revolutionary only in the sense that it did the same as before but in a greater scale, and that it has been working hard to get rid of any of the democratic features of the previous system.