Tensions Rise In Venezuela Over Humanitarian Aid From U.S., Russia; Health Care System Continues Collapse

Associated Press: Aid wars: U.S.-Russia vie to ease Venezuelan crisis
“Call it the aid wars. The Trump administration is accusing President Nicolas Maduro of starving Venezuelans by blocking tons of American-supplied humanitarian aid stored next door in Colombia. In Russia, the Kremlin sees the opposition’s plan to ram the aid across the border as a reckless pretext for ordering a U.S. military intervention. As tensions in Venezuela mount ahead of a Saturday showdown over humanitarian aid, both sides are digging in, highlighting how the South American nation’s crisis has become the latest fault line in a battle for global influence by the former Cold War adversaries…” (Goodman et al., 2/20).

The Guardian: ‘I came to Peru to survive’: Venezuelans migrating for HIV drugs
“…The Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Federation estimates AIDS-related deaths have more than doubled as a result of an 85 percent shortage of medicines in the country…” (Collyns, 2/21).

VOA News: Venezuela’s Health Care System Continues Downward Spiral
“U.N. and international health agencies say Venezuela’s health care crisis is causing a rise in infectious diseases and the re-emergence of illnesses such as malaria and tuberculosis, once considered vanquished. The World Health Organization (WHO) blames Venezuela’s complex political and socio-economic situation for the virtual collapse of the country’s health care system. It says the system is under stress because of a shortage of doctors and nurses who have left the country, as well as a lack of medical supplies and other factors…” (Schlein, 2/20).

Additional coverage of the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is available from the New York Times, Outbreak News Today, Reuters, and Xinhua News.