FROM Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez
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?
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.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.