Not all that long ago, American socialists were cheering Venezuela as the future. Then it turned into a socialist hell on earth.
Seven years ago, Senator Bernie Sanders wrote an editorial, claiming that the, “American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger.”
“Who’s the banana republic now?” he asked.
Here’s what the socialist dream looks like now.
“We can’t find any vaccines; we can’t find any medicines. Children in Venezuela are dying,” said Alberto Camacho, 35, as he stared down at his five-month-old daughter Ruth Steffania. “I have to give my baby goat milk because baby formula is $12. It would take me three months to make $12.”
Camacho defined himself as “unemployed right now,” despite odd taxi jobs, having had to shutter his beloved restaurant five months ago when money and food ran out.
That’s because inflation is completely out of control in Venezuela making money effectively worthless. Repeated minimum wage hikes, a favorite economic measure of the Left, have utterly failed to accomplish anything.
A recent National Hospital Survey conducted by the Physicians for Health organization found that not only are more than 95 percent of CAT and MRI machines inoperative but 43 percent of laboratories are out of order, 33 percent of beds are broken, and 51 percent of hospitals are gravely short of emergency supplies.
Luis Gonzalez, a 31-year-old former fireman and paramedic from Valencia, Venezuela, has ventured as far away as the Ecuadorian capital of Quito to try and make enough money to save the life on his three-year-old son, who was diagnosed with leukemia in November 2017.
“I’ve only been able to send money back to my family twice, it hasn’t been easy,” Gonzalez, who sells cookies on the streets by day and sleeps at a nearby “resting house” for around 70 Venezuelans – which was quickly transformed from a military uniform factory – over the summer lamented. “But I’m trying to raise money and find donations.”
As there is no treatment available in his homeland, his focus has been on buying whatever medications he can find on the black market – from chemotherapy pills to IV drips – to send back via the Colombian border.
“There is a human catastrophe in Venezuela. There is a resurgence of illnesses that were eradicated decades ago. Hundreds have died from measles and diphtheria. Last year, more than 400,000 Venezuelans presented malaria symptoms. Up to now, there are over 10,000 sick people from tuberculosis,” said Antonio Ledezma, former political prisoner and mayor of Caracas. “People have been doomed to death. More than 55,000 cancer patients don’t have access to chemotherapy. Every three hours a woman dies due to breast cancer.”
Martinez estimates more than 55 percent of the healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, and others – have left the country. Resident doctors who have stayed in Venezuela earn the equivalent of $24 a month, while specialists make just a little more, at $30.
Julio Castro Mendez, a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases and is a Professor at the Medical Institute at the Central University of Venezuela, underscored that 65 percent of the country’s 70,000 patients with HIV have not received treatment in the past six months. Coupled with astringent malnutrition, some of his adult male patients have dwindled down to 77 pounds, he said.
Maria Alejandra Salazar, 35 – who is six months pregnant with twins – left her two daughters behind in Caracas to sell sweets on the streets in Quito, where she will stay to ensure a safe birth. She noted that despite everyone in the household working two jobs, it just wasn’t enough to survive.
This is the socialist nightmare that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders want to bring to America.