For years, Venezuela has been the picture of protracted collapse, a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that its downfall was largely unassisted. Yet talk of foreign intervention abounds. A Russian plane recently landed in Caracas, and the rumor is it's meant to pick up a few hundred million dollars worth of Venezuelan gold. The amount of money is less meaningful than the signal its transport sends – that President Nicolas Maduro is closing up shop. And since the United States has effectively severed ties with Citgo, Venezuela's major financial asset and a subsidiary of its state-owned oil firm PDVSA, that may well be the case.