Venezuela's experiment in socialism continues to wreak havoc on the country's economy and its people, to the point now where one-third of those admitted to hospitals – even for minor scrapes – die from shortages of key medicines.
The Associated Press reported recently that if the South American nation – once the hemisphere's richest and most successful – has collapsed into such an economic basket case that it is now difficult enough for even the healthy to get by. The sick and injured often have nothing to look forward to except death.
The AP, citing government reports, noted that one in three people admitted to a hospital last year died. Operational hospital bed totals have fallen by 40 percent since 2014. And as the economic collapse deepens, the country is now shot on 85 percent of needed medicines, according to the national drugstore trade group.
"I really don't know of any other country where things have deteriorated so quickly, to such an incredible extent," Rafael Perez-Escamilla, a Yale University School of Public Health professor who has worked in Latin America and Africa, told AP. "Venezuela's health system was a model for Latin America. Now you are seeing an implosion where people cannot get basic care."
The failed 'revolution' in Venezuela really ought to be a crime against humanity
Socialism is to blame, of course, but like President Obama won't say "Muslim extremists," academics and establishment media reporters won't say "socialism." When you're a fan of that economic model, you can't quite bring yourself to acknowledge the big, fat gorilla in the room. Rather, Venezuela's problems are blamed on "economic mismanagement," as the AP reported, and a plunge in oil prices.
Granted, oil was a mainstay of the Venezuelan economy, but as this ABC News story noted, the country has suffered steady economic decline and collapse since the days of Chavez.
Now, after nationalizing much of the country's businesses and industries, everything is falling apart. Local production of nearly everything has all but stalled and there is no money in the treasury (or in business hands) to import much, especially medicines.
Meanwhile, Maduro is going out of his way to ensure that his failed "socialist revolution" is not blamed for the problems it is causing. His government mouthpieces say that Venezuela's medical crisis is not real – "an invention peddled by opponents," as the AP reported. But then Maduro, like every other socialist dictator, contradicts himself by telling Venezuelans "to start growing medicinal herbs," the AP said.
And there is this: Maduro refuses to let international aid into his country. So now, tons of much-needed medical supplies and medicines are sitting idle in warehouses in the U.S., Spain and Panama. How's that for dangerously delusional? Maduro ought to stand trial in an international court for crimes against humanity.
No help, no hope, only misery – that's socialism
This is what it has come to: In recent days, the family and cousins of a dying three-year-old Venezuelan girl – dying from what started as a simple infection from a scraped knee – went from hospital to hospital in the capital of Caracas begging administrators for a chest-drainage machine she needed to stay alive. No one would help and some even accused family members of wanting to obtain the equipment so they could sell it.
Finally, around midnight on the day the girl's doctors had told her parents she wouldn't live past, a local physician donated the needed machine, called a Pleur-evac. The cousin who secured it ventured down the capital city's crime-ridden streets at 1:30 in the morning, well past the unofficial curfew, to get it to the failing child's bedside.
But her leg had grown even more swollen and red; it needed to be drained, surgically. There were only two functioning operating rooms and 150 children waiting for them.
In the end, the child – Ashley – lived. But other children had to die first. The entire sad, frustrating and angering story is recounted here.
Read it, so that the next time Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, or some other socialist-wannabe "revolutionary" politician tells you theirs is the better economic model, you'll be sure to vote for their opponent.
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