Venezuela is held up by many on the left as a socialist paradise, funded by oil profits and dogged by big spending socialist governments the place is rooted.
They can’t afford condoms, a 36-pack of Trojan condoms are going for 4,760 bolivars (about $US750) and now with oil prices plunging people are dying in the socialist paradise for want of simple medical supplies.
Venezuela is suffering under the boot of socialism.
For Jose Perez, a Venezuelan taxi driver from Caracas, the hardest part about watching his wife die from heart failure was knowing just how easily she could have been saved.
The surgeons at the Caracas University Hospital were ready to operate on 51-year-old Carmen, but because of the shortages of medicines now ravaging Venezuela, they had no stocks of the prosthetic artery that would have saved her life.
For a day, the family enjoyed a glimmer of hope after a nationwide search uncovered one such device, but Carmen needed two and a second one was nowhere to be found. She died two days later.
It is life-and-death stories like these that illustrate the depth of the economic crisis now confronting Venezuela, a crumbling socialist-run petro-state that looks in danger of being tipped over the edge by the crunch in world oil prices.
For Venezuelans like Mr Perez and tens of thousands more awaiting medical treatment around the country, the magic realism of Hugo Chavez’s great Bolivarian socialist revolution has turned to bitter reality less than two years after the former leader’s death from cancer.
“It’s the government who is responsible for my wife’s death, not the doctors,” Mr Perez, 63, told The Telegraph last week. “Things are very bad in this country, and they are getting worse. I feel that we are in a dictatorship. At the start I believed in Chavez, now I can’t look at him. He is in the best place now.”