Stopping Debt Payments Could Worsen Venezuela's Crisis
Venezuela is struggling to pay back an estimated $150 billion in debt.
The country's financial crisis only makes life worse for people like Luber Faneitte.
Faneitte lives in a run-down building in downtown Caracas. She receives disability payments from her job and survives on less than $9 each month.
Faneitte lives with a daughter and four grandchildren. They all depend on her small income. She struggles to have enough food to eat and to pay her bills. She depends on food the government sells once a month at reduced prices.
Health problems add to her worries. Faneitte has lung cancer. Doctors say she needs chemotherapy to treat her cancer. But Faneitte stopped chemotherapy in January because of the severe shortage of medicine.
Instead, she prepares a homemade mixture of liqueur, honey and aloe vera.
"I leave it outside for two days, then I take a spoonful in the morning and another at night. I think I breathe much better when I take it," she said.
The poor in the South American nation are especially suffering because of the economy. The International Monetary Fund predicts that inflation will reach 2,300 percent in 2018.
A member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, Venezuela depends on oil for almost all of its export income.
But oil prices remain low. That means Venezuela has less money to import many goods that it needs. The decrease in imports has worsened the seemingly endless shortages of basic supplies such as soap and toilet paper.
The idea of Venezuela ending its debt payments is seen as a possible short-term political gain for the country's largely unpopular President Nicolas Maduro. He is expected to seek re-election in 2018.
If Maduro stops debt payments, or declares default, the money could be used to buy imports and do election campaigning. It would also decrease the risk of street protests.
But experts say the long-term effect of defaulting would be extremely bad. Alejandro Grisanti is with the group Ecoanalitica which provides business advice. He says Venezuela would face legal action from its creditors. It would also have its property held in foreign countries seized as a result.
Maduro has said he wants to refinance and restructure Venezuela's debt. But the idea of default is a looming concern for people who could be affected.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.in debt 负债；欠钱
I'm now up to my ears in debt and dare not borrow any more money.
2.survive on 靠...为生
Where once she had been totally self-sufficient, she now had to survive on income support.
3.financial crisis 金融危机
This financial crisis had a much greater impact on Main Street.
4.pay back 偿还
I'll pay you back that two quid tomorrow.
5.She depends on food the government sells once a month at reduced prices.
depends on 依靠；依赖
The development of the food industry depends on that of agriculture.
The success or failure of the matter depends on your own effort.
6.It would also have its property held in foreign countries seized as a result.
as a result 结果是...
As a result, industry was overmanned and pen-pushers were everywhere.
As a result, the bad thing has been turned into a good one.
该国的金融危机只会让菲尼特（Luber Faneitte）等平民的生活每况愈下 。
菲尼特栖身在加拉加斯市中心一栋破败的房子里 。她每月领取公司的伤残津贴，依靠不足9美元的生活费艰难度日 。
菲尼特跟女儿及四个外孙一起生活，而菲尼特的津贴是唯一的收入来源 。菲尼特的收入只能勉强糊口、应付日常开支，全家的食物主要靠政府每月低价出售的粮食 。
让她忧心的还有健康方面的问题 。菲尼特患有肺癌 。医生警告她必须通过化疗治疗癌症 。但由于药品急缺，菲尼特在1月份就停止了化疗 。
她说：“让药水在户外放置两天，然后早晚各饮一勺 。我觉得服用时药水时，呼吸顺畅多了 。”
经济危机导致委内瑞拉的穷人苦不堪言 。国际货币基金组织预计，2018年该国的通货膨胀率将达到2300% 。
然而，油价持续低迷 。这意味着委内瑞拉缺乏足够资金进口所需的商品 。进口量锐减导致肥皂、卫生纸等基本生活用品更加短缺 。
对于该国不受爱戴的马杜罗总统来说，委内瑞拉停止偿付债务可能会获得短期的政治利益 。预计他将在2018年寻求连任 。
如果马杜罗停止偿付债务或违约，这些资金就可以用来进口商品、资助竞选活动 。这还能降低游行示威的风险 。
不过专家表示，违约的长期影响极其恶劣 。亚历杭德罗·格里桑蒂（Alejandro Grisanti）供职于Ecoanalitica，该公司专门提供商业建议 。他说，委内瑞拉或将面临债权人提起的法律诉讼，还会导致委内瑞拉境外的资产被扣押 。
马杜罗表示，他希望对委内瑞拉的债务进行再融资和重组 。对于那些潜在的受害者来说，违约是一个迫在眉睫的问题 。