Socialist Paradise: Perception and Reality



A woman walks past empty shelves at a drugstore in Caracas, Venezuela 23, © 2016 Reuters

[…] Yelitza López’s greatest fear is to face a grave illness without pain relief. That fear is very real to her – López’s mother, Divisay, has advanced cancer and suffers from bouts of severe pain.

“I cannot watch her suffer,” she told Human Rights Watch in a phone interview in July. “When we run out, I’ll have to see if I can get any more… I am worried.”

Her worry is warranted. As Venezuela’s crisis has deepened, morphine and other opioid analgesics, like many other essential medicines, have mostly disappeared from pharmacy shelves. “The finance ministry refuses to release the funds needed to buy more morphine for the public healthcare system,” says Dr. Patricia Bonilla, the founder of the Venezuelan Society of Palliative Medicine and Divisay Lopez’s doctor. “We have run out.” […]

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