Return to Transcripts main page

CNN 10

Protests and Corruption Threaten Political Stability in Haiti; Standoff Between Venezuelan Government and the Delivery of Humanitarian Aid; How the President`s Day Holiday Got Its Start; Treetop Visit to the Jungle of Laos

Aired February 19, 2019 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: A very warm welcome to our viewers on every continent but Antarctica. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10. If you`re wondering

why we didn`t have a show yesterday, the reason`s just a few minutes away after we make stops in the Caribbean and South America. Let`s go. U.S.

Central Intelligence Agency says Haiti, an island nation between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea has had political struggles for most

of it`s history. One is occurring right now. Since February 7th violent and deadly protests have been held in the Haitian capital of Port-au-


Cars have been burned. Protestors have fought with police. The U.S. State Department says violent crime like armed robbery is common in Haiti and

that responses to emergency calls are either limited or they don`t happen at all. Demonstrators want President Jovenel Moise to resign. They blame

him for the soaring costs of goods and corruption within the government. On Saturday night, the nations prime minister asked for calm and

acknowledged there is corruption in Haiti but that the government would fight and uncover it.

And President Moise says he will not leave Haiti quote "in the hands of armed gangs and drug traffickers." Haiti is the poorest country in the

Western Hemisphere. More than half the population lives below the national poverty line and there are questions about some arrests that were made in

the past few days. Haiti`s government says seven of the eight people taken into custody aren`t from Haiti.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The situation on the ground here in the capital is sort of a tenuous calm. The government has asked all sectors

from the schools to the - - the - - the public agencies to businesses to reopen and get back to some state of normalcy today. The schools have not

reopened but some gas stations have, some businesses have and the agencies the - - the - - the government seems to be coming back as - - as well.

But, there are rumors and talk about more protests ahead. There appear to be some efforts to block roads in certain parts of - - of the capital and

possibly other areas of the country.

That is what the police are on high alert for now. About the eight individuals arrested. They had a ton of guns on them. Many automatic

weapons that would have to be registered in the country as well as radios. Five of them were Americans. All this as the government - - government

officials are telling us that there are foreign forces - - influences out there that are - - are trying to destabilize the - - the country throughout

these protests. In other words, the - - the protests that we saw over the last nine, ten days or so last week were not just an expression of popular

revolt and - - and upset with the government. But that there was something more at play here whether or not they make that argument later as - - as

these individuals are arraigned, we will find out.

But certainly another level of intrigue here in the capital and between the protestors and the president there appears to be a stalemate. They want

him to resign still he is holding fast and saying he will not resign. The hope is from the government is that the - - the measures announced by the

prime minister over the weekend. A - - a 30 percent cut to his budget and to government worker perks, an increase in the minimum wage. All those

things will buy them enough breathing room and placate protestors that they will go back to work and stop trying to shut down the country. Miguel

Marquez, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


CARL AZUZ: Moving southeast across the Caribbean from Haiti, we come to the South American nation of Venezuela. With an economy that`s falling

apart, it`s a country in need of supplies like food and medicine. It`s a country that`s been sent supplies from the U.S. and several other nations

but the question is will Venezuela`s government actually let those items through the borders its closed. President Nicolas Maduro says the aid

isn`t needed and that it`s part of an attempt planned by the U.S. to knock him out of power.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio who visited the border between Venezuela and Colombia yesterday, said it`d be a crime against humanity if President

Maduro doesn`t allow the supplies in. The group that opposes him plans to bring in the shipments on February 23rd so the world will be watching what

happens this weekend when truckloads of supplies approach the Venezuelan border.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It isn`t just a mission to deliver basic goods. It`s a mission to deliver hope. Over the weekend, three planes carrying 66 metric

tons of humanitarian relief made its way to the Venezuelan border with Colombia. The supplies, part of an effort led by the USAID and both the

Departments of Defense and State.

JULIE CHUNG, STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: And these are the - - just the basic necessities - -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: State Department Official Julie Chung helped lead the mission to assist the millions impacted by what she called a manmade crisis

created by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

CHUNG: So the only thing that`s stopping us is the Maduro regime. We`ve seen them block the bridges, block the roads and it`s an abomination to

humanity to stop basic necessities and goods from entering your country to help your own people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any concern that something like this would provoke him from doing something even more drastic? That this could

perhaps be seen as a - - further politicizing a crisis?

CHUNG: If anyone`s politicizing the crisis, it`s Maduro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lester Toledo, a Representative of self-declared interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaido joined the U.S. officials on the

trip to the border. He was there when the first stage of U.S. aid arrived on the Venezuelan border February 8th. I asked him if this is the year

Venezuela will turn the corner. He said he thinks it will happen in a matter of weeks.

This is the second shipment of humanitarian aid sent by the U.S. government to help Venezuela in the last two weeks. They say it`s part of the their

commitment to interim President Juan Guaido and inside these pallets they say is enough to feed 3,500 children and up to 25,000 adults. Landing in

Colombia, the humanitarian convoy was greeted by USAID Director Mark Green. He said the aid is arriving at the most critical time.

In a matter of minutes, the supplies were offloaded and driven to this warehouse in Ducati, Colombia positioned only a few hundred yards from

Venezuela. The question now with the border closed and Maduro`s regime showing no sign of backing down how to get the supplies to the people who

need it most.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe you own government class. Maybe you can name all the U.S. presidents but do you know who`s honored by President`s Day? You

could have asked Calvin Coolidge but he might have been silent on the matter. Teddy Roosevelt might have walked softly around the subject,

despite being a rough rider. Most Americans believe President`s Day is about every president we`ve had but that`s kind of wrong, at least as far

as its origin goes.

President`s Day was originally Washington`s Birthday, Just Washington`s on February 22nd. It became a Federal holiday in 1885 and as far as the U.S.

government`s concerned its still Washington`s Birthday, not President`s Day. In 1968, Congress voted to switch it to the third Monday in February

giving government employees a three day weekend. But even though Washington`s Birthday and Lincoln`s Birthday were only days apart, Congress

refused to combine them into President`s Day. Though that`s what many Americans do. So if you work for the government you`ll get a day off for

Washington`s Birthday. If you don`t, you may get a day off for President`s Day. Those after all are the precedents.


CARL AZUZ: If you`re planning a vacation for spring break and thinking of somewhere exotic, you might ask yourself why someone would spend $300 to

sleep in a tree house. I guess the answer lies in where the tree house is, what kind of view it has and how you get to it. Our 10 out of 10 feature

takes us to Laos, a Southeast Asian country that`s 68 percent forest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See you tomorrow. Bye bye.



CARL AZUZ: But while you`re given the chance to see the apes actually "gibbon" to see them isn`t a given and if you tried and failed you might

feel like "gibbon" up. But sooner or later they might be "gibbon" in before you`re "gibbon" out and then you can all "gibbon" a selfie before

you have to be "gibbon" back home. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.