FROM Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez
Venezuela in a major crisis: Are sanctions going to help? After months of deadly protest over living conditions and human rights abuses, President Nicolas Maduro is accused of running a phony election. Official results from Sunday's voting replaced the previous general assembly with a new one subject to his total control. President Trump has increased individual sanctions against Maduro and other powerful figures — and there's talk of interfering with the vital oil economy. Would that fend off a potential dictatorship — or give Maduro the scapegoat he needs -- possibly leading to civil war?
How close is Venezuela to collapsing? Things are going from bad to worse in Venezuela: A sham election over the weekend, sanctions by the U.S. yesterday, and now leaders of the opposition are under arrest.
Is there a way out for Venezuela? Venezuela sits atop the world's largest oil reserves but you wouldn't know it if you visited the country today. The country today seems on the verge of civil war. President Nicolas Maduro's repressive government has turned Venezuela into a kleptocracy, with people facing violence, organized crime and food shortages. This has led to mass demonstrations. A thousand people have been injured and eighty have died in the protests on the country's streets over the last two months. The descent into potential chaos has become an increasingly complex challenge for the international community. We take an in-depth look at the Venezuelan crisis.
Are Venezuela's troubles the legacy of populism? Twenty years ago, the late Hugo Chavez promised to save democracy in Venezuela. Today, Venezuela is moving toward a dictatorship, with the opposition divided against authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro. Late last year there were massive street protests, and this weekend the Supreme Court stripped the legislature of its power. When the rest of the world took notice, that ruling was mostly reversed -- but economic depression continues, and the government refuses food or medical aid. We hear what life is like in the nation with the world’s largest oil reserves -- and hear a debate about how it got that way.
Chronic Food Shortages Prompt Riots in Venezuela Venezuela’s worsening economic crisis has spilled over into chaos in recent weeks. Hungry protestors have been rioting, ransacking and looting stores and restaurants, leaving scores of businesses in shambles and at least five people dead. The government has declared a state of emergency, and basic necessities are being rationed. How did a relatively recently prosperous country which sits on the world’s largest oil reserves come to this -- the world’s worst rate of inflation and nearly 90% of its population unable to afford to eat?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.