Venezuela’s health crisis demands an urgent regional response

Post Date: 
2018-11-27
Source: 
The Washington Post

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela finally asked the United Nations for help to purchase medical equipment in mid-November, saying that “North American imperialism is persecuting and blocking us.” But days earlier, the main public hospital in Caracas rejected medicines and supplies donated by the nongovernmental humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders.

At first glance, this may seem contradictory. But it more likely reveals an incipient change in the Maduro government’s absolute denial of the country’s humanitarian crisis.

Maduro’s government remains as opaque and repressive as ever. In January, the president called those who spoke out about the crisis “traitors to the fatherland.” His threat should be taken seriously in a country without judicial independence, where critics have been arbitrarily jailed and tortured, and hunger has been used for social and political control.