As I explain here, democratic socialism is a political tradition aiming broadly at democratic control of the economy, achieved through electoral processes. In concrete terms, that generally means a completed cradle-to-grave welfare state plus democratic ownership of big swathes of the economy through mechanisms like a social wealth fund or state-owned enterprises. Importantly, this definition rules out authoritarian systems like the state socialism seen in the Soviet Union. Democracy means at a minimum regular, free, and fair elections, where a conservative party has a real chance of victory.
Venezuela may embrace socialism, but it definitely doesn’t embrace democratic socialism.
A more important rejoinder to this argument is Norway (and the other Nordic countries to a lesser extent). Norwegian workers are heavily protected, with 70 percent of workers covered by union contracts, and over a third directly employed by the government. The Norwegian state operates a gigantic sovereign wealth fund, and its financial assets total 331 percent of its GDP (as compared to an American figure of 25 percent). Meanwhile, its state-owned enterprises are worth 87 percent of GDP. Of all the domestic wealth in Norway, the government owns 59 percent, and fully three-quarters of the non-home wealth (as most Norwegians own their home).