Brazil Struggles to Care for Desperate Venezuelans
We’ve watched in horror as oil-rich Venezuela plunged into poverty following the severe drop in oil prices. Coupled with the socialist polices of former president Hugo Chavez and current president Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela is now facing complete social collapse.
Maduro has responded to the crisis with a call for more state controls – decreeing forced labor and rationing electricity – that have served only to exacerbate the problem.
In November, I wrote an article detailing the heartbreaking story of a desperate Venezuelan family trying to make it across the sea to the island of Curaçao. This week, Breitbart reports a massive influx of Venezuelans crossing the border into Brazil seeking medical care and food.
Hospitals and morgues in the border state of Roraima, Brazil are overflowing, and stand to face their own shortages if they don’t find a solution soon.
“Demand is growing faster than I can manage,” says Marcilene Moura, director of the main hospital in Roraima. “Every month the number of patients grows exponentially. How can I plan for that? What happens if this continues? I’m going to run out of supplies by the middle of the year.”
Roraima is a poor state without the facilities necessary to care for such a massive amount of people. The general hospital in Roraima is in complete chaos, with beds in the hallways and waiting rooms. Relatives of those hospitalized have started to live in the facility, sleeping on the floor and depending on government services for food.
“Venezuelans are also selling their children and abandoning them, as well as selling their hair for $20 due to the economic crisis,” reports Breitbart.
Caregivers are also having difficulty finding room to store the bodies of those who die in the hospitals. Many have been sent to the police station morgue – a place typically reserved for the bodies of violent criminals. An anonymous employee of the morgue admitted that the bodies are sometimes stacked two to a drawer.