SINS OF SOCIALISM…Doctors Pumping Air Into Infants Lungs By Hand…No Antibiotics…Children Die In Filthy Venezuelan Hospitals

Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

Only the strongest will survive in the dog-eat-dog world of Socialism. This is the result of a society that believed the government is more capable of running their lives than they are. This is Bernie’s world. This is the reality of the utopia Bernie has been promising his supporters. These are the same policies Hillary is promising she’ll support if she’s able to escape federal prosecution before the election. 


By morning, three newborns were already dead.

The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, shutting down the respirators in the maternity ward.

Doctors kept ailing infants alive by pumping air into their lungs by hand for hours. By nightfall, four more newborns had died.

“The death of a baby is our daily bread,” said Dr. Osleidy Camejo, a surgeon in the nation’s capital, Caracas, referring to the toll from Venezuela’s collapsing hospitals.

The economic crisis in this country has exploded into a public health emergency, claiming the lives of untold numbers of Venezuelans. It is just part of a larger unraveling here that has become so severe it has prompted President Nicolás Maduro to impose a state of emergency and has raised fears of a government collapse.

Meridith Kohut for The New York Times
Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

Hospital wards have become crucibles where the forces tearing Venezuela apart have converged. Gloves and soap have vanished from some hospitals. Often, cancer medicines are found only on the black market. There is so little electricity that the government works only two days a week to save what energy is left.

At the University of the Andes Hospital in the mountain city of Mérida, there was not enough water to wash blood from the operating table. Doctors preparing for surgery cleaned their hands with bottles of seltzer water.

“It is like something from the 19th century,” said Dr. Christian Pino, a surgeon at the hospital.

The figures are devastating. The rate of death among babies under a month old increased more than a hundredfold in public hospitals run by the Health Ministry, to just over 2 percent in 2015 from 0.02 percent in 2012, according to a government report provided by lawmakers.

The rate of death among new mothers in those hospitals increased by almost five times in the same period, according to the report.

This nation has the largest oil reserves in the world, yet the government saved little money for hard times when oil prices were high. Now that prices have collapsed — they are around a third what they were in 2014 — the consequences are casting a destructive shadow across the country. Lines for food, long a feature of life in Venezuela, now erupt into looting. The bolívar, the country’s currency, is nearly worthless.

The crisis is aggravated by a political feud between Venezuela’s leftists, who control the presidency, and their rivals in congress. The president’s opponents declared a humanitarian crisis in January, and this month passed a law that would allow Venezuela to accept international aid to prop up the health care system.

“This is criminal that we can sit in a country with this much oil, and people are dying for lack of antibiotics,” says Oneida Guaipe, a lawmaker and former hospital union leader.

But Mr. Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chávez, went on television and rejected the effort, describing the move as a bid to undermine him and privatize the hospital system.

“I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one,” Mr. Maduro said.

For entire story: NYT’s

Much like the drooling college students who are turning out by the tens of thousands to  Bernie Sanders rally’s in the United States, the citizens of Venezuela elected the controversial Nicolas Maduro as their president, and now they are paying a very heavy price.  

bernie signs

Who is Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro?

BBC– While he lacks the magnetism followers of Mr Chavez attributed to the late president, he is a commanding figure in Venezuela, and not just because of his stature of (6ft 3in).

Derided as a poor copy of his mentor, Mr Maduro has not been ousted by the opposition or by rivals in his own party, as some had predicted when he was elected in April 2013.


However, he has failed to win over the opposition after sticking very closely to the fiery rhetoric of Mr Chavez.

Tough stance
His government’s tough approach to mass anti-government protests in the first half of 2014 and the jailing of thousands of demonstrators prompted criticism from human rights groups and sanctions from the United States.

His opponents paint him as a ruthless despot who detains his political rivals on overly harsh charges pressed by a judiciary under his party’s control, while his followers say he is protecting the country from another coup.

But with oil prices plummeting below $50 (£33) a barrel, Mr Maduro’s approval rating has been falling, too.

Venezuela’s economy is almost entirely reliant on its oil exports and the president is facing a severe economic crisis as well as a hostile opposition.

And with financing for the government’s generous social programs in jeopardy, some are questioning how committed those who voted for Mr Maduro really are to the socialist cause and their leader. 

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