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Video Venezuela: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
19:33   |   today at 13:31


  • Venezuela not to be confused with
  • Venezuela because that is the hot new
  • celebrity couple that sells Ben Affleck
  • Abu Salem is the country famous
  • for giving the world oil seven Miss
  • Universe yz6 Miss World and of course
  • most importantly one Wilmer Valderrama
  • who I like to think of as the Miss
  • Universe of that 70 show now over the
  • last few years it seemed like every time
  • Venezuela has been on the news it's
  • because something awful has been
  • happening food riots and looting this is
  • now the only daily diet Venezuelans can
  • count on violent protesters storm the
  • National Assembly Sunday even punching
  • some lawmakers chaos in Caracas is
  • stolen police helicopter fires on
  • Venezuela Supreme Court the clashes in
  • Caracas between protesters and police
  • are looking more like all-out war it's
  • true things in Venezuela have been
  • extremely grim so fair warning here this
  • is not going to be one of those
  • feel-good last week tonight stories like
  • slippers or everything looks okay the
  • pudding factory or a genocide but it's
  • only happening to balloon animals and it
  • has been hard to keep up with events in
  • Venezuela due to the hurricane of
  • that we've all been dealing with here
  • although if you follow a conservative
  • media at all you may have seen it
  • frequently painted as the inevitable
  • dire consequences of a socialist
  • government for a case in point just
  • watch this Infowars reporter quizzing an
  • extremely chill Bernie Sanders supporter
  • well you know Venezuela right a majority
  • of the country is currently eating rats
  • while their politicians are drinking
  • champagne on daily basis oh I'm saying
  • since if Bernie Sanders were president
  • right and he wanted to bring the same
  • ideas as social for socialism into this
  • country don't do you think that we would
  • benefit yeah
  • but I just told you Venezuela is getting
  • rats
  • but I just want build-up healthcare I
  • don't want like worms in your brain
  • honestly reporter she certainly just got
  • served by sassy Popeye what'd you do up
  • there is a nice distillation of the
  • current level of political discourse in
  • America to people who don't really know
  • what they're talking about condescending
  • to each other nonsensically until one of
  • them lands are sick burn but what is
  • happening in Venezuela it's not just
  • extremely important it is absolutely
  • worth paying attention to because this
  • is not just a story about socialism
  • there are plenty of socialist countries
  • that look nothing like Venezuela it's a
  • story about epic mismanagement so epic
  • that a nation of 31 million people with
  • the largest oil reserves in the world
  • have been forced to resort to some
  • pretty creative forms of protest social
  • media ablaze for the past few days
  • encouraging protesters to fill jars and
  • bags with human feces this is one of our
  • last options says this masked man we are
  • calling it who boot up cocktails yes who
  • boots off cocktails named of course
  • after the Soviet premier VI just laughed
  • pooper tov who was infamous for pooping
  • in jars and throwing other people a
  • little bit of history for you there and
  • well well that is funny because you know
  • it's poop it is also desperate people
  • resorting to a desperate measure and
  • given that next Sunday Venezuela is
  • having their presidential election
  • tonight we thought we'd check in on
  • what's been happening there to try and
  • understand how Venezuela got into this
  • mess and how despite making it even
  • worse their current president Nicolas
  • Maduro seen here
  • absolutely going to town on an honor is
  • almost certainly going to win despite
  • having the support of only around a
  • fifth of the population and to
  • understand anything about present-day
  • Venezuela you only have to start with
  • Maduro 'he's predecessor hugo chavez
  • shown here looking understandably smug
  • about the fact that he's got a bird in a
  • hat on his shoulder
  • now Chavez was massively popular in
  • Venezuela beloved for both his generous
  • social programs and his larger-than-life
  • personality every Sunday he staged
  • marathon TV broadcasts that sometimes
  • ran up to eight hours on his show
  • although Presidente the show featured
  • special guests dance numbers and prize
  • giveaways over here we have flat-screen
  • TVs it's the opposite of capitalism
  • because if giving away flat-screen TVs
  • is truly the opposite of capitalism and
  • the most successful socialist leader in
  • history is comrade Roux Kerry now Chavez
  • could act the way that he did because
  • Venezuela was oil-rich and over the
  • course of his presidency he took more
  • and more state control over their
  • national oil company enabling him to
  • fund programs benefiting the poor and
  • when that company protested some of the
  • changes that he was making he responded
  • by using his TV show to address its
  • executives directly there Peter I'm
  • firing the following people mr. Juan
  • Fernandez you are fired from petroleum
  • of Venezuela Eddie Ramirez thank you
  • very much
  • you were fired also Mariano Rodriguez
  • you are not fired but if you don't stop
  • talking to your boyfriend on
  • speakerphone you absolutely will be and
  • Mateo Martinez if you use the office
  • kitchen to microwave fish one more time
  • so help me I'm going to have you
  • murdered now to be back to the theater
  • Chavez many of his social programmes
  • were initially effective during his
  • tenure the poverty rate was nearly
  • halved and to this day many Venezuelans
  • revere Chavez to a dramatic degree the
  • late president's eyes are painted on
  • public buildings as if watching over the
  • revolution this man even chattering the
  • eyes onto his foreign
  • that's the image the eyes of our supreme
  • commander
  • Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias the eyes that
  • see the world the whole world now that
  • is dedication right there I like my
  • president so much I want him to watch me
  • masturbate for the rest of my life
  • because that's what those eyes are going
  • to see that they'll see other things but
  • they're also seeing that and the thing
  • is some of Chavez his programs could
  • have been sustainable if he pursued a
  • sound economic policy and run a tight
  • ship but not only did he stop saving oil
  • revenues in a rainy day fund he also
  • oversaw a government that transparency
  • international found to be the most
  • corrupt country in Latin America and
  • remember Latin America has Columbia in
  • it a country where the only campaign
  • finance lawyers please report all bribes
  • consisting of more than 10 kilos of
  • cocaine still as long as the price of
  • oil went up forever and Chavez never
  • died the cracks could have been papered
  • over
  • unfortunately in 2014 the price of oil
  • plummeted from over $100 a barrel to
  • just $50 a barrel just one year after
  • Chavez plummeted from being alive to be
  • very much dead and here is where Maduro
  • the big banana fan comes in because
  • because he was Chavez his hand-picked
  • successor but unfortunately had neither
  • his booming economy nor his charisma
  • although he has desperately tried to
  • make up for that even going so far as to
  • tell people that he'd received messages
  • from the spirit of Chavez who visited
  • him in the form of a little bird it's a
  • story he's told repeatedly and sometimes
  • even frozen sound effects he repented
  • from Pajarito Chicopee Co Emilio
  • Travolta a guerilla
  • say peruse Notah Begay midi rocky in
  • peaceful silver your senti a pity to it
  • Nocenti a komodo know the hold our wind
  • assume now what i like the most about
  • that other than the whistling which are
  • like very much is is the idea that when
  • powerful leaders die they become birds
  • because that is a pretty humiliating
  • second act I led my people to greatness
  • and now I will buff my lunch into my
  • child's mouth and fly into a glass
  • window
  • look I don't want to say that murderers
  • charm offensive hasn't been working but
  • just watch this moment from a TV
  • appearance where he was reading messages
  • from viewers live on air company Moises
  • daveed tells me nicolas maduro suck on
  • it you suck on your own
  • but you could suck yourself yes that's
  • right
  • Maduro essentially appeared on a segment
  • of celebrities read mean tweets
  • completely by accident and the thing is
  • it's easy to see what Maduro has pissed
  • people off because he has managed
  • Venezuela's economic crisis in the worst
  • possible way he's doubled down on many
  • of Chavez most unsound policies like
  • unrealistic currency and price controls
  • while attempting to make up for missing
  • revenue by simply creating more money
  • and as a result inflation has exploded
  • with the IMF forecasting 13,000 percent
  • inflation for 2018 and and to give you
  • an idea of just how ridiculous that can
  • look this was a trip to a Venezuelan
  • market last year the currency is so
  • devalued some shopkeepers weigh the
  • money rather than waste time counting
  • and if residents are lucky enough to
  • find food on the shelves prices are out
  • of sight this plantain cost what your
  • house costs 25 years ago Wow
  • I mean there's clearly two options there
  • inflation is completely out of hand or
  • that is one incredible plantain I mean
  • world-class plantain an inflation is
  • just one of many reasons why why many
  • Venezuelans are struggling to find or
  • even afford basic necessities like
  • medicine or food and those shortages
  • have had some terrible consequences this
  • food shortage is widespread over the
  • last year three-quarters of the
  • population has lost an average of almost
  • 20 pounds look how fat I used to be this
  • is how many holes I had to make in my
  • belt on the Maduro diet yes the Maduro
  • diet that is actually now a commonly
  • used phrase in Venezuela and it's a very
  • healthy sounding term for a truly
  • horrifying situation
  • he's one saying Jim Jones was the
  • pioneer of the Jonestown juice class
  • and and it is it is not like Maduro
  • isn't aware that people are starving in
  • fact during one of his media appearances
  • a reporter noticed that the video feed
  • cut away everytime Maduro helped himself
  • to the plates of charcuterie and cakes
  • so he knew that eating would look
  • insensitive although those camera
  • cutaways haven't always worked because
  • just watch this clip that went viral
  • last year and know that that what he's
  • saying here doesn't matter what's
  • important here to remember is he's about
  • to think that the camera is off him yeah
  • he just housed an empanada in front of a
  • starving nation and come on Maduro
  • a nationwide famine is no time for
  • fourth meal and if you think that is the
  • most tone-deaf reaction to Venezuela's
  • mass food shortages just wait until you
  • see him do some pretty insensitive crowd
  • work oh yeah why are you so skinny
  • Gustavo have you been jogging what
  • happened to him Maduro is diet Maduro is
  • diet makes you hard
  • ah seeing this is no need for Viagra wow
  • that is the most awkward presidential
  • attempt to be in on the joke since
  • Herbert Hoover claimed that Hoover towns
  • make you wet without the need for
  • cornmeal or castor oil they they they
  • didn't totally understand how vaginas
  • works back then and even even when the
  • Maduro government has tried to help it's
  • done it in a truly ham-fisted way for
  • instance Maduro has proposed a so-called
  • rabbits plan basically a program to
  • encourage Venezuelans to breed and eat
  • bunnies but when people started putting
  • bows on them and keeping them as pets
  • instead his administration gave a pretty
  • callous correction a rabbit is not a pet
  • it's two and a half kilos of meat that
  • is high in protein with no cholesterol
  • holy a rabbit is just two and a
  • half kilos of meat that sounds less like
  • a government pronouncement and more like
  • a tank top Marlin bando used to wear
  • back in his clubbing days policy Maduro
  • has generally lived in complete denial
  • his most recent plan to address rampant
  • inflation was to introduce a new version
  • of their currency the bolivar just with
  • three zeros lopped off the end and in
  • case any part of you thinks that might
  • actually fix their inflation problem we
  • asked a Yale economist Robert Shiller if
  • that's how money works take a look no
  • that's not how many works thanks Robert
  • thanks
  • in the absence of solutions Medora has
  • reached for the next best thing
  • blaming someone else over the years he
  • suggested that the United States was
  • responsible for injecting Chavez with
  • cancer he said that the u.s. was
  • sabotaging Venezuelan ATMs and he's
  • chalked up protest against him to this
  • former party lucuma this is part of a
  • scheme of non-conventional war that the
  • US has perfected throughout recent
  • decades okay so here's the thing there
  • America has undoubtedly done some awful
  • things in Central and South America
  • we've backed coup attempts hunters and
  • atrocities in Chile Argentina and
  • Guatemala but refreshingly was happening
  • in Venezuela is actually not our fault
  • accusing America of creating Venezuela's
  • crisis is about as fair as accusing OJ
  • Simpson of murdering Princess Diana I'm
  • not saying it will be completely out of
  • character
  • it just happens to not be true in this
  • particular instance so that's like
  • basically what I'm saying and yet and
  • yet despite all of this Maduro is about
  • to dominate this election like he
  • absolutely dominated that banana so how
  • is that possible well he's basically
  • bent Venezuela's democratic process to
  • his will back in 2015 when his party
  • lost control of the National Assembly he
  • responded by stacking the Supreme Court
  • with 13 new justices and then simply
  • created a whole new Assembly President
  • Nicolas Maduro wants to create a
  • political assembly with vast power to
  • rewrite the Constitution and potentially
  • dismantle the democratically elected
  • legislature all of the candidates today
  • are Maduro supporters including his wife
  • and son now just just think about the
  • sheer scale of what Maduro did there
  • that would be like if here Trump put a
  • bunch of his friends on the Supreme
  • Court who then happily allowed him to
  • create a second Congress that outranks
  • the real Congress and his members
  • include Melania and Erich and which by
  • the way you just know he'd called Andris
  • you know
  • and you know it and please take that
  • down before he gets any ideas I already
  • regret bringing it up now on top of that
  • majora has either jailed or barred from
  • public office a number of his political
  • opponents and has even turned down help
  • from other countries and agencies
  • including food and medicine he has
  • turned down food and medicine telling
  • Venezuela's that humanitarian aid is
  • part of a conspiracy to overthrow his
  • government all of which has let
  • Venezuelans feeling so hopeless that
  • nearly 1 million of them have left the
  • country over the past two years and many
  • of those who've remained and now at
  • their breaking point
  • [Music]
  • don't even take an Omaha
  • or que no tiene la mano mano colectivo
  • whatever
  • that's absolutely horrifying and when
  • you listen to her it starts to hit you
  • that pooh-poohed off cocktails might
  • actually turn out to be pretty
  • restraint and the most frustrating thing
  • here is there aren't a lot of great
  • options to help the Trump administration
  • has imposed some sanctions and is
  • considering more but if they're not
  • extremely careful those could wind up
  • causing even more hardship so at this
  • point
  • seeing as Maduro won't listen to reason
  • or to the will of his own people perhaps
  • it's time to call in the one voice that
  • we know he'll listen to so ladies and
  • gentlemen please welcome Herbert
  • [Applause]
  • [Music]
  • hola my ludo it's me a bird remember we
  • spoke a few years back okay and if
  • you're thinking this is just one more
  • Balderrama in a bird suit well used to
  • think it was Hugo Chaves you're not
  • exactly the authority on what birds but
  • listen up buddy because I'm two and a
  • half kilos of high protein and meat and
  • I'm here to tell you you're in some
  • serious trouble compadre it's not a good
  • sign when the people are throwing their
  • poop at you I should know I'm a bird
  • come on man I invented the poopoo table
  • cocktails yeah that's right every time a
  • bird poops on you you should know it was
  • a political statement
  • also that we aim then I thought it was
  • funny
  • Maduro the whole world can see what mess
  • you are making even TV hosts here in
  • America like that idiot
  • [Applause]
  • because it's bad timing Zazu
  • the point is Maduro you need to accept
  • humanitarian aid and and cool it with a
  • dictator stuff where I've got a poop
  • with tough cocktail with your name on it
  • right here alright this is it for me and
  • because I am a real actual bird I'm
  • going to exit with effortless beauty and
  • grace
  • [Music]
  • [Applause]
  • you

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John Oliver discusses the devastating economic crisis in Venezuela and enlists the help of a large bird who bears a striking resemblance to Wilmer Valderrama.

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