In 2010, late socialist leader Hugo Chavez knelt down in the backyard of his childhood home in Venezuela's lush plains to plant an orange tree named 'revolution' as red-shirted supporters cheered and cameras flashed.
During a song-and-dance commemoration of Chavez's birthday last year, his successor Nicolas Maduro sowed another orange tree in the same garden.
The trees, though, have fallen ill, their leaves shriveled.
"They have some sort of infestation," tour guide Ana Hidalgo said in the sun-doused yard behind Chavez's former house, whose walls are now laden with photos, quotes, and even his old hammock.
Just like its botanical namesake, the movement Chavez called "The Beautiful Revolution" is ailing ahead of Dec. 6 legislative elections — including in Sabaneta, his sleepy hometown in Venezuela's agricultural heartland.
Over a decade of increasingly dysfunctional state controls and the end of an oil bonanza have triggered one of the OPEC nation's most severe economic crises.
Just blocks from where Chavez grew up and sold his grandmother's papaya sweets to make ends meet, Venezuelans now line up for hours hoping a truck will make its way across the palm tree-sprinkled flatlands to deliver scarce rice or toilet paper.
Rampant inflation and the near-collapse of the bolivar currency have destroyed salaries, while violent crime leads many to barricade themselves inside when the region's vast sky turns dark.
"We were 'Chavistas'," said Julio Coromoto, 57, a workman next to a queue of dozens at a shabby supermarket.
"But they destroyed this town."
Nationwide polls predict voters will punish the socialists next month, possibly taking away their majority in the National Assembly for the first time since Chavez took power in early 1999.
To hold on to loyalists, the government is milking Chavez's legacy at every turn, re-naming voting centers after him, splashing his smiling face on billboards and filling state television with his most rousing speeches.
In Barinas, his brother Argenis and cousin Asdrubal are running for the legislature, hoping to follow in the political footsteps of two other brothers, Adan and Anibal, already Barinas governor and mayor of the municipality whose capital is Sabaneta.
But with adversaries accusing the family of corruption, many people now scorn the state's most famous surname.
"Now there are more Chavez' on their way? That means more for them. And what's left for the people? Nothing! I'm embarrassed to say I'm from here," said Zulay Chacon, 26, once a government supporter, after nine hours in line.