Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Humanitarian, Health Situation In Venezuela

Wall Street Journal: Aid Showdown in Venezuela
Editorial Board

“The fight for democracy in Venezuela has retreated from the front pages, but an important moment arrives Saturday when thousands of Venezuelan exiles will try to deliver food and medical supplies to their suffering compatriots. … Dictator Nicolás Maduro may try to block the aid, and his forces may resort to violence. The help from abroad is welcomed by Juan Guaidó, who has been recognized by more than 50 countries as Venezuela’s legitimate government since the elected parliament recognized him as Interim President under the constitution last month. … The volunteers delivering the supplies are taking great personal risks because no one knows how the Maduro forces will respond if the convoys insist on entering and setting up distribution centers. A surrounding swell of public support could protect them, but not if the military or regime militia start shooting. … Mr. Maduro is trying to frame the aid brigades as pawns of a U.S. invasion. … But those won’t be foreign troops arriving Saturday. They’ll be Venezuelans carrying food and medicine for a country plunged into malnutrition and disease by Cuban-Maduro socialism. The aid showdown puts in stark relief the choice in Venezuela between a dictator who wants to block aid for the people, and the Guaidó government that wants to deliver it” (2/21).

The Conversation: Venezuela: region’s infectious crisis is a disaster of hemispheric proportions
Martin Llewellyn, senior lecturer at the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health & Comparative Medicine

“Over the last two decades, Venezuela has entered a deep socioeconomic and political crisis. Once recognized as a regional leader for public health and disease control, Venezuela’s health care and health research infrastructure has fallen into a state of collapse, creating a severe humanitarian crisis and a major outbreak of infectious disease. This week, we published the first comprehensive assessment of the vector-borne disease outbreak that is assailing the country. … The purpose of our recent review was to draw together fragmented information from Venezuelan civil societies, researchers, international organizations, and neighboring countries to get the best estimate of what is actually going on. … The picture is grim. Health is highly politicized in Venezuela and working as a researcher is not without risk. … Venezuelans are resilient and resourceful people. … In recognizing the regional aspect to the crisis, the spillover of disease in the region, and the millions of refugees, we hope our review will galvanize international organizations to act. I’m optimistic that we are reaching a turning point in a crisis ten years in the making. I fervently hope the spirit of Venezuelans will break through…” (2/22).

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