tv Counting the Cost 2019 Ep 5 Al Jazeera February 5, 2019 8:33am-9:01am +03
who brings a silly simple breaking story and then of course there's donald trump told through the eyes of the world's janet that's right out of a hamas script that calls for the annihilation of israel that is not what that phrase means at all listening post as we turn the cameras on the media focused on how they were brought on the stories that matter the most in battery is a free palestine a listening post on al-jazeera. hello i'm a very unforgiving this is counting the cost on al-jazeera a weekly look at the world of business and economics this week we're focusing on venezuela hungry without access to medicine venezuelans are suffering as a political crisis unfolds we'll look at what it's like to live inside the world's worst economy where hyperinflation is a reality of one tenth of the population has left. ninety nine billion dollars in
debt and much of it in default that as well is a country with many creditors but where did all the money go. plus confusion reigns in energy markets as the u.s. slap sanctions on venezuela where it hurts how the game of oil is playing out. in venezuela people don't have enough to eat at least one tenth of the population of economic refugees according to one official data is available infant mortality is soaring at a faster rate than in syria this economic crisis is a humanitarian crisis and we're in a new chapter on january twenty third the leader of the legislature one guy doe began a push to remove current president nicolas maduro the united states has imposed an embargo on venezuela's state oil company p d v s a the sanctions aimed to transfer control of venezuela's oil wealth to those that oppose madieu rope at oil is
a good place to start how did a country with the world's biggest oil reserves end up so impoverished and bankrupt the orinoco belt holds one of the world's largest reserves of heavy crude oil the problem is though oil accounts for ninety eight percent of venezuela's foreign earnings there's a lack of other sectors but worst of all no sovereign wealth fund to invest all the money in the government controls everything and it's been spending more than it's been earning venezuela's issued billions in sovereign bonds and borrowed heavily using the country's natural resources as collateral now though it's in the fold strict control of foreign currency exchanges restricted people's ability to access foreign produced goods this imbalance has led to hyper inflation that means inflation running at a million percent and it's rendered the ball of our worthless latin america editor lucien newman is on the ground in paternity correctness talking to people. about
what it's like to fight for survival in venezuela right now i'm standing in a line in pit that a that is one of the largest slums in all of venezuela and these people have been waiting so that they can buy a treat it's called sardines one of the very few things that they can actually afford these days well they must sell to too expensive we can't afford anything they raise the minimum wage to eighteen thousand last month but you can't buy anything at all a kilo of cheese costs fifteen thousand voters and there goes practically you entire salary i mean everybody here is holding loads of bills in their hands but their apps they're almost worth nothing which you see here are fifteen thousand believe it is this is an august well worth two hundred fifty dollars a dollar was sixty body about is now they're worth less than five this is almost a full month's salary but you can hardly buy much more than these soundings with it yet though and i love when they don't go to the office to keep this is one of the
ways we have all surviving because that is what we're doing barely surviving we see the saliva. of people here telling me they actually don't like sardines but it's the only thing they can afford at this point what can you buy with the minimum wage get with it compare that going to how demeaning. mayo got on their way to. your local just a carton of eggs he says that's all he can buy a new yorker go in there where one half a car you know i mean. i'm going to show you how long this line is and it formed in just a few minutes word of mouth as people heard that something was being sold in fact they usually line up without even knowing which at the other end because whatever it is they say they're going to need it and in this country where hyper inflation has surpassed one million percent and expected to go up even further this year people are telling me that prices in the last two weeks alone have more than quadrupled especially since the political crisis got worse. want to get back and
listen there's nothing left in this country everyone here knows it there's no money no food here we're all starving to death the problem is people don't want to say it either because they're embarrassed or because they may be beaten up but you can't be afraid to tell the truth in front of them in theda. so these sardines are being sold at a discount by the government but directly in front of me you can see a whole row of shops they're all closed one of them was a butcher shop the other used to sell cheese ham salami things like that but now they've all gone out of business. so people here are beginning to get rather agitated and upset the queue is still extremely long but they can see up there that the sardines are going to be running out pretty soon and if they don't make it to the top of the queue before that happens many people are telling me they'll have nothing to feed their families tonight for counting the cost to see in human
al-jazeera got access. joining us now is a condo hiero is the director of executive education and graduate studies at northwestern university here in canada but is originally from venezuela welcome counting the cost what are you hearing from friends and family in venezuela about what life is like right now well it's very difficult for the moment my own sister is living with a salary of ten dollars a month as a teacher they struggle i was there last year when through the border had to go out through the border with colombia and i could see you know fountains of people crossing the border you can see that they were moving because you could see the type of thing they were caught carrying out people on a basic salary cannot buy the basics of food they depend on the staples provided by their own which are below not reach the majority of the population so there's a dramatic situation in hospitals are collapse over twenty two thousand doctors have left the country since two thousand and fifteen. there's
a cancer mortality rate which is of fifteen percent because there's no treatment for chemotherapy and radiotherapy available and a lot of the situation goes down to basically the mismanagement of qana me and and the political turmoil so how do people feel about the dura and about his is previous as a shove is now yeah i think chavez was very popular party because he represented a. hope for the whole process of of confronting corruption in decline in the economy of the previous years and for a while that popularity went up with also with the rise of the oil prices but also because the present form of present job it was very you know charismatic and i had a very strong connection with people that's not the case of my mother oh my god or not only doesn't have that connection with people doesn't have that charisma that united you because our connection with the people but he doesn't have the money the
oil. the price has gone down from one hundred twelve dollars per barrel to just over sixty for the venezuelan t one which is the average type of oil there and its values are and that represents a huge dramatic drop in the coffers of the government on top of that the government in that itself massively doing the chinese period we were in for the international debt of thirty four billion dollars which was our international there by ninety ninety eight to one that is over two hundred billion at the moment so the government is basically servants in the debt now instead of painted that and that's the origins of the collapse i want to clarify the last been said about us sanctions well the collapse of the economy started way before any sanctions were even announced for the first time the government the mother had decided that they had to honor the debt that they will not go to the international monetary fund and because of that they give preference to the payment of that that meant a reduction of eighty percent of the money that it was dedicated to imports of food
this is in a country in which ninety eight percent of the income of the country depends on oil basically we produce oil and nothing else and once you do that reduction in imports you create this situation of massive hunger and mass exodus from the people is there is there anyone in venezuela society who is weathering the storm here or is it affecting everyone it is affecting every single one of them i know people in the in the you know in the middle class poor people obviously the poor people are the most affected by this crisis because they are the ones who cannot reach the basics depends the middle class normally would have in some cases or in many cases you have people abroad who send money back home but even that has been. limited for example if you want to send medicines to venezuela or to a family member of the government just conflict in the airport they alledge that because they have to do that to prevent you know conflict confit medicine to any
but the truth is that the patients have. there have any access to local medicines how to it's really good to talk to many thanks indeed thank you now both china and russia standing by nicolas maduro he's regarded as beijing's store just ally in latin america a friendship underpinned by huge loans investments and weapons sales his own china correspondent adrian brown they were jumping for joy when president nicolas maduro was lost in china four months ago but today the leadership here is not excited about the prospect of venezuela without him at the helm. china is venezuela's biggest creditor has invested heavily in its oil industry and regards president maduro as its strongest ally in south america china has lent more money to venezuela's upwards of sixty billion dollars than it has to any other country in the world it's probably been repaid up to two thirds of that but that leaves
anywhere in the neighborhood of twenty to thirty billion dollars venezuela china analysts say china's leaders are concerned about whether the deals will be honored if the opposition party takes power but for now china continues to voice support from the duros coupled with veiled warnings to the united states. china opposes for interference in the internal affair of minutes well especially when it's well in government to uphold national sovereignty independence and threatening military interference and continued to support efforts made by the stability. the growing political economic and humanitarian crisis in venezuela has attracted global headlines and concern the main evening news on state controlled television has shown pictures of the protests but so far made no mention of the violence or suffering of the people. as in africa chinese influence in south america is expanding fast especially in venezuela besides money china has also been helping
the mature regime in another important way it's now venezuela's biggest provider of arms including weapons for crowd control which have been proving so effective joining the current unrest still to come on counting the cost of a wake up call for the mining industry in brazil one of the worst disasters in the nation's history puts the spotlight on the world's biggest producer of iron ore. but first more of our top story venezuela there things like rice cooking oil and other basics are in short supply people have to scavenge for food according to reports parts of the coastline have become havens for ex fisherman turned pirates then as well and smugglers in twenty nine thousand are exchanging drugs and guns for things like nappies and on the other side of the equation the rich and powerful in venezuela are known as the balibo gays many of them a high ranking military the u.s.
alleges that they've been stashing their money in safe havens like u.s. luxury real estate in places like miami well oil isn't the only resource in venezuela the country claims to have the world's fourth largest gold mine there were reports this week the president nicolas maduro is getting ready to ship twenty tons of gold out of the country the bank of england has blocked matilda's officials from withdrawing one point two billion dollars worth of gold that's being stored in its faults but joining us now from london is diego campos diego is a principal analyst for country risk in the americas team at i.h.s. market good to have you with us. so we have u.s. slapping sanctions on venezuela a country which relies on oil for ninety five percent of its foreign currency earnings in order to pay for imports this great confusion in the energy markets at the moment just how to trade in venezuelan oil what's going to happen. well certainly the sanctions on the old sector are
a game changer you will make it very very difficult for the administration who will to get access to the proceeds of this sales. of oil and certainly these going to accelerate pressure for him to step down to go where are venezuela's assets right now unknown billions of dollars hidden in possibly u.s. real estate rumors of gold reserves being flown out of the country pirates in the caribbean we're hearing about at the moment where is or this money well they're really the reason why venezuela signal me seeing such a dire state is because of years of widespread corruption among gorgon officials and big mismanagement some of these procedures have been laundered in different places in the caribbean in european countries even in the u.s.
and some latin american countries and. it's at the moment difficult to precise exactly where these assets located and who has been operating a front man for man your mode of thought of going official but what is clear is that the national assembly menace well or which is controlled by the opposition and which is the only legitimate democratically elected institution in the country how to use late did to establish the necessary make any sense so that these assets could be frozen abroad and be channeled to be administration or one way or the head of the national somebody who trust their team up. and who has been. recognized by the us may gonna buy most of the american gone trees and many e.u. countries and i think. the first steps doors trying to get control of these assets we think that the fact that these gone trees have recognized the
administration was bought we make it more easy for al thora these of those going to have to frozen those are said but separate then the. those scientists who don't belong directly to the orbit of venice weight up to stay don't quote bodies i mean refineries bank accounts. and so on the u.s. treasury and the u.s. in particular is thinking that necessary steps so that the revenues and it will do all of those are said to go directly to administration or what under the law so to make it more difficult for mother look to govern we have to remember this by difficult motors not be recognizing their nationally he still in control of government functions and enjoys the support of the military at least until now and the fact that way though will axes these funding for his people amount which are being recognized by these countries for humanitarian aid are great steps towards
not only baby in the way for a democratic transition but also to generate an influx of revenues for where you go to ministration to get a really good to talk to your counting the cost many thanks for being with us think you are always a pleasure now it's being called the most hated company in brazil violate the world's number one or producer is being held to account for its role in a dam collapse an industrial accident which has devastated a local mining community it's fear that more than three hundred people have died buried under tons of toxic sludge and there's growing anger because this is the second time in five years that valets mining waste has devastated the local environment and a serious daniel swam or has our report from burma deal in brazil. the first funerals are some of the first victims to be recovered and identified the whole town of bora genial is grieving their brothers and sisters sons and daughters
were employees and subcontractors of valley the company that owns the iron ore mine where the dam burst thank you we didn't hear anything from the company if we had looked for him his body would most probably still be in the mud after the accident we wanted information. francis was thirty four years old married and with a four year old daughter. was missing you know how many people would ever be found how many fathers mothers and kids how we going to cope now i don't know how i will cope but my brother how will his daughter cope without her father how my father being about his son. dozens of bodies have been recovered but many hundreds more remain unaccounted for and with a far we don't have space for more than three bodies in the funeral parlor so many people are gathering here i might end up doing a collective funeral in the sports center where i think. emergency teams are still involved in the rescue operation although most say there is little hope of finding
more survivors. after the tragedy the morning this is a mining town but it's a small town where everybody knows everybody else and with many many more funerals to come the anger people here feel is only going to grow. there are already signs of it and lessons not learned and insufficient investment in safety it's mostly directed at the mine known as the same part owners of a nearby mine were at dam burst in two thousand and fifteen killing one thousand people and causing immense environmental damage. in others and is profoundly religious country have their own way of showing their grief and support was local it was usage year we came from a nearby city to give emotional and spiritual support to these people who are suffering so we brought donations too but we're mostly here to hug and console on a busy mining is the region's major employer amidst the grief and the recriminations the brazilian government the mining industry and this devastated
community must now tackle what is emerging as one of the biggest crises in the country's history joining us now from one of humana blanco is the head of latin america research at various maple crossed a risk analysis and forecasting company good to have you with us brazil's frozen more than four billion dollars worth of assets the company itself has said that it's going to spend more than one billion dollars decommissioning dams like the ones that failed it's somewhat worrying isn't it that there are potentially more disasters like the ones like the one weeks we saw that could happen. well you know our research at various shows that community. and community concerns around mining largely relate to water management issues across latin america one of those issues is how water is stored and after it has been used in mining operations and of
course you know in the case of brazil in and in this particular. question there's a lot of work that will need to be done around regulations and in for cement and how the industry responds. to prevent future ones from occurring again is this a test case for the government environmentalists worried that president both sonora will open up the amazon to more logging. production. this is a timely reminder of potential manmade disasters what lessons will president bush norah take from this. well it remains to be seen if the government will respond to this disaster by reevaluating its own environmental policy the question then becomes you know has the risk of threats in brazil increased enough large companies you know with very responsible business plans environmental management mechanisms would not want to go into these environmental sensitive areas that the
government is planning to open up to the sector and the other question to be ask is can the government actually implemented reform program around environmental regulation and e.c. environmental regulatory processes or will they have government have to go back to the drawing board because of not just investor pressure and even sector pressure because of course the mining sector you know really works very hard to to try to mitigate this perception that all its operations are environmentally damaging when many responsible companies operate in this country in a safe manner but there will also be a lot of social pressure even from potentially the president's support base if these are communities that are exposed to mining operations and have concerns about potential environmental disasters following the scandal which which ultimately took down the last government or what you're feeling about what's what's going to happen
. well even in the perspective of you know government stability going forward projection indices which look at the six month outlook and the two year outlook we actually see the stability of this government strengthen over the six month period the simple reason for that is because it's a new government in power with a new support base in congress and it's not facing the potential risk of impeachment that we've seen in brazil over the past three years on a pretty recurring basis both for dilma rousseff and nischelle turner the question then becomes what happens if this government is unable to deliver the reforms and the changes and improvements it has promised for example on the security front or an economic growth and when we talk about corruption a corruption is in brazil is not linked to one particular party or one particular administration alone it's really an entrenched problem in the political class and
of course there are members of the new administration who are being investigated for corruption and new allegations are emerging every day against different members of the new government so really we need to look at how those investigations involve and whether a threat emerges more in the medium term so we're looking out at one or two year outlook rather than in the very short six month term. show for this week if you'd like to comment on anything that you've seen you can tweet me. on twitter but please use the hash tag a.g.c. to see when you do or you can drop us a line counting the cost of. e-mail address as always there's plenty more few online at www dot com slash c.t.c. that takes you straight to our page and you'll find individual reports links even entire episodes for use of catch up but that's it for this edition of counting the cost i'm adrian for the good from the whole team here in doha thanks for being with us the news on al-jazeera is next.
the latest news as it breaks the difference is that convulsed bottles ossified this that authentic in the roots with to this time those roots with these. with detailed coverage though has already said that he's ready to take over as interim precedents and calls for you elections. from around the world volunteers are doing what they can that's not the point behind the government's decision to criminalize
homelessness it hundred. stamkos the house geology of both mentally resources and i drove her through why are they so poor the measuring you guys would finally form a government that. the toxin left a century now and the more we would close down the more they pushed back we knew it was coming to question was do we sit back and wait or do we surprise them with a preemptive strike target and i'm just. driven by outrage and spanning generations the real hinge of demonstrators gathered on the very day a widely criticised repatriation agreement between the governments of bangladesh and me and more was to begin the anger was all too apparent and the fear was palpable if you don't like was so afraid that if they send one of us back to myanmar today tomorrow they'll send back ten and the day after tomorrow they'll
send back twenty idea if we were given citizenship in myanmar then there would be no need to take us back there we would go back on our own we must remember the rancho among the most persecuted minorities in the world. well again avery and for going to here in doha the top stories on al-jazeera venezuela's president think less mature is becoming increasingly isolated after nineteen e.u. countries recognized opposition leader why go as interim leader quote who is calling on the military to stand up against madeira last in america at its lucien newman reports from caracas. self-proclaimed interim president chose the day that commemorates former president bush's nine hundred ninety two failed coup.