From the November-December 2017 issue of News & Letters
Lack of principle, competing agendas, and egos led to the collapse of the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable in October. This will give a further lease on life to the crisis-ridden United Socialist Party of Venezuela government, but will do little to help the people.
As U.S. cash had given way to Chinese cash, now Russia is loaning Venezuela’s state-run oil company needed funds—which are expected to be paid back, at the expense of social benefits, even as refineries are running at half capacity.
The social crisis has taken a toll. Earlier this year, Health Minister Antonieta Caporale was fired for releasing statistics showing the number of women dying in childbirth had increased by 65%. Children’s mortality increased 30%.
With shortages of medicine, vaccination levels have fallen. Diphtheria, a disease unseen for decades, has reappeared. In Valencia, where two people died of it recently, hundreds were left standing in line as vaccine ran out.