Don't miss




Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more


Khashoggi Affair: Evidence mounts against Saudi Crown Prince

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more


Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more


Fishing in France's Grau du Roi harbour, a family tradition

Read more


French education reforms under tight scrutiny

Read more


FIAC 2018: Paris's one-stop shop for Contemporary Art collectors

Read more


Semey Revisited: The legacy of nuclear testing in Kazakhstan

Read more


An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2018-07-20

Video: Maracaibo, the story of Venezuela's collapse

© Chris Huby, Agence Le Pictorium

Maracaibo is the second-largest city in Venezuela. Its residents face soaring inflation, widespread poverty and shortages. Under Hugo Chavez, Venezuela based its economy on oil exports. But the fall in oil prices led to a crippling economic crisis. Most people can no longer afford to buy food and the fishermen of Lake Maracaibo resort to smuggling to sell their meagre catch in neighbouring Colombia. Our reporters Matthieu Delmas and Chris Huby went to meet Maracaibo’s struggling residents.

Venezuela has some of the largest oil reserves in the world. But over the past three years, the country has suffered the worst economic crisis in South American history. After 19 years of rule by first Hugo Chavez and then his successor, Nicolas Maduro, the country is on its knees.

Chavez financed his generous social programmes thanks to the windfall from millions of petrodollars. With oil prices constantly rising, the economic cycle remained positive until his death in 2013.

Economy in freefall

The passing of the left-wing leader, followed by the slump in oil prices, marked the end of the Chavez-led economic boom. Today, importers can no longer afford to pay for their orders in dollars, imported food has become an unaffordable luxury, while the IMF forecasts an inflation rate of 13,800% for this year. Only petrol remains affordable. For the price of a pack of flour, drivers can fill up their tank nearly 15,000 times.

Today, Venezuela is on the brink of economic collapse. Only a few upscale residential towers, with barbed wire over the walls, hint at its past glory. Faced with runaway inflation, shortages, hunger and insecurity, two million Venezuelans have already left the country, hoping to build a better future elsewhere.

By Matthieu DELMAS , Chris HUBY


2018-10-19 Reporters

Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Ninety-six percent of British fishermen voted for Brexit, saying they wanted to "get their waters back" and break away from the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy, which...

Read more

2018-10-12 Reporters

Reporters: No way home for the Rohingya

Since August 2017, nearly a million Rohingya Muslims have fled a brutal crackdown by the Burmese army. Today, they live in the world’s largest refugee camp in neighbouring...

Read more

2018-10-05 Reporters

Reporters: Living in fear of the militias in Rio

In Rio de Janeiro, dozens of neighbourhoods and favelas are under the control of militias. All of them use terror to control locals and businesses, and resisting them can be...

Read more

2018-02-09 Reporters

Reporters: The ‘missing’ that China keeps silent

Chinese authorities go to great lengths to control society, with forced disappearances becoming the norm. Since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013, political opponents...

Read more

2018-09-28 Reporters

Reporters: Kailash Satyarthi is on a mission to end child slavery in India

A child disappears every eight minutes in India. In the capital New Delhi, six out of 10 children who go missing are never found. They are called the "lost generation": More than...

Read more