Opinion Pieces Discuss Public Health, Humanitarian Situation In Venezuela

Project Syndicate: The Public Health Case Against Nicolás Maduro
Akash Goel, professor of medicine at Weill Cornell/New York-Presbyterian Hospital

“…[T]oday, severe malnutrition is engulfing Venezuela, with catastrophic consequences for the country’s people and its future generations. … [T]here are strong and urgent public health grounds for international criminal charges against President Nicolás Maduro and officials in his government. And with diplomatic efforts to remove Maduro seemingly at a standstill, such an approach could offer another route towards changing the country’s leadership. Widespread malnutrition in Venezuela is the result of years of social, political, and economic failure. … Although the Venezuelan authorities have released few country-level health statistics for years, isolated and leaked reports show that hunger may be having a severe impact on the population. … Venezuela’s economic collapse is a tragedy in itself. But by deliberately aggravating the population’s access to nutrition, the Maduro regime is arguably committing crimes against humanity. We must hold it accountable” (4/8).

Bloomberg Opinion: Venezuela’s Health Crisis Is the Hemisphere’s Problem
Mac Margolis, Bloomberg Opinion columnist

“…Now the worst humanitarian crisis in the Americas risks becoming a hemispheric emergency, as nearly 3 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants ferry their pathogens across the continent. … Severe droughts likely linked to disruptive climate change have forced Venezuelans to store water at home, a perfect swarm for aedes aegypti, the mosquito that spreads dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika. … [W]hen such migrants travel, they also carry ills that Venezuela’s neighbors thought they’d beaten. … The World Health Organization reckoned that a Venezuelan malaria outbreak was responsible for 84 percent of the increase in infections in the Americas in 2017. Venezuela alone kicked in 53 percent of all reported cases regionally in 2016 and 2017. … Venezuela’s dysfunction has become a life-threatening export as well a risk to regional stability and prosperity. … Encouragingly, diplomacy in the Americas is more robust than ever before, with virtually all of Venezuela’s neighbors pressuring the Maduro regime to stand down, allow in more humanitarian aid, and attenuate the suffering. Let’s hope they succeed…” (4/8).

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