Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says his country's hard currency income fell 60 percent in 2016 compared with the year before, blaming low oil prices, and wants to propose a new OPEC deal to boost prices. Ryan Brooks reports.
Venezuela's unpopular President blaming cheap oil for a national crisis. Nicolas Maduro announcing Sunday (January 15) his country raked in a staggering 60 percent less hard currency in 2016 from the year before. In light of the news, he says he's got a new plan to prop up oil prices replacing a standing deal by OPEC. But whatever that plan is, the president is playing his cards close to his chest for now. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO SAYING: "Venezuela, as of next week, will circulate a letter with a new proposal, a new formula for the stability of prices so that it can be studied and debated by all the governments that have signed this deal." The original OPEC deal aimed to cut oil output by more than a million barrels a day for the first six months of 2017. Oil's prices have fallen since mid-2014 and they're a make or break issue for Venezuela, which gets 90 percent of its export income from crude sales. The country is currently suffering from a brutal recession, with many people struggling with shortages of basic food as inflation drags down minimum wages, and sparking violent crime. On Sunday, Maduro praised his people for their "courage" in 2016, a year the opposition spent trying to remove him, before authorities stepped in.