Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Economic collapse in Venezuela

This is as much as the world economic collapse and the oil price affecting the country as any 'ъshortcomings; of socialism.

A lot of Americans wouldn't know socialism if they tripped over it.

Venezuela declares State of Emergency: no hospital supplies, people are dying on the floor in pools of blood
Crisis Venezuela

16 May, 2016

May 2016 – VENEZUELA – Venezuela is struggling both economically and politically, facing massive food shortages, regular blackouts, skyrocketing inflation and an increasingly dire public health situation. Hospitals lack beds, antibiotics, medical equipment, doctors, even running water. U.S. intelligence officials said Friday that the country may be on the verge of a crisis. Just hours later, President Nicolas Maduro declared a 60-day state of emergency to “stabilize our country, and confront all the international and national threats against our fatherland.” –Here and Now

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.

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.

Here in the Caribbean port town of Barcelona, two premature infants died recently on the way to the main public clinic because the ambulance had no oxygen tanks. The hospital has no fully functioning X-ray or kidney dialysis machines because they broke long ago. And because there are no open beds, some patients lie on the floor in pools of their blood. It is a battlefield clinic in a country where there is no war.

Some come here healthy, and they leave dead,” Dr. Leandro Pérez said, standing in the emergency room of Luis Razetti Hospital, which serves the town. 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. –NY Times

Capriles Tells Venezuela Military to Revolt, Invokes Protest Violence If Opposition Demands Not Met

17 May, 2016

The right-wing opposition leader told the armed forces to "prepare the tanks and war planes," saying the "hour of truth has come."

Right-wing opposition leader Henrique Capriles on Tuesday called on the Venezuela's military to rebel against the government of Nicolas Maduro, invoking the likelihood of violence as the opposition planned Wednesday mobilizations to demand the expedition of a presidential recall referendum.

Prepare the tanks and war planes,” Capriles said, adding that “the hour of truth is coming to decide whether you are with the constitution or with Maduro."

This will be a decision that the Bolivarian Armed Forces will have to take.”

Capriles, who has lost the last two presidential elections heading up the opposition MUD coalition, held a news conference during which he disavowed the state of emergency decreed by Maduro, which was later discussed and rejected in the opposition-controlled National Assembly.


I call on Venezuelans not to recognize this decree,” said Capriles, calling the measure null and unconstitutional. The 60-day decree was issued as threats of foreign intervention were floated by foreign politicians, including former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

The opposition leader, who also called for nationwide marches on Wednesday to demand that electoral authorities move preparations forward or a recall referendum against Maduro, threatened that if the government wants to implement the state of exception by presidential decree it will have to do so “by force.”

Capriles also pointed to the military leadership, calling them the "adversaries" of Venezuela's opposition.

The Armed Forces are living the crisis,” he added during the question period, arguing that the military leadership are “full of privileges” and should not be confused with the soldiers, who he said are “not the enemy.”

The statements come after Capriles' comments last week, where the Miranda state governor suggested that violence could break out if opposition demands around the recall process are not met. "If you block democratic means, we do not know what can happen in this country," Capriles said. "Venezuela is a bomb that can explode at any moment."

The opposition leader has been accused of stroking political violence in the past.

Following his 2013 election loss to Maduro, Capriles refused to recognize the results and called on supporters to take to the streets and "discharge your anger." In the ensuing violence, at least 7 people were killed and 61 injured.

Capriles also said that opposition supporters will continue to take to the streets to demand that the National Electoral Council expedite the process to schedule a recall referendum, starting with the validation of signatures submitted.

However the governing Socialist Party have already accused the opposition of submitting fraudulent names. “They said they delivered 1.85 million of signatures. However, almost 190,000 of them were deceased people," said Jorge Rodriguez, head of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

The opposition is pushing for the vote to happen as soon as possible. If a recall referendum takes place in 2017, the country's vice president would take over for the remainder of the presidential term, whereas a successful 2016 recall referendum would mean snap elections for a new president.

Opposition protests are scheduled in cities across the country on Wednesday, including a march in Caracas from Plaza Venezuela to the National Electoral Council at 10:00 a.m. local time.

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