Venezuela debt crisis adds to its humanitarian woes

Venezuela missed a second deadline for a large payment on its debt due in October, and is now facing humanitarian and debt crises.

Venezuela is already facing a humanitarian crisis, and now it is also suffering a debt crisis.

The rating agency Standard & Poor’s Global has declared the nation in “selective default” after it missed a second deadline to make a payment due in October.

Critics say Venezuela’s leaders have prioritised clearing debt over a growing humanitarian crisis that has left many of its people hungry and children dying in hospitals due to medical shortages.

The country’s leaders say US sanctions are making it impossible to refinance its debt, and that they will pursue alternate agreements with traditional rivals such as China and Russia.

Al Jazeera’s John Hendren reports.