The tap in her apartment yields water only every two weeks. It comes out yellow. Her 8-month-old granddaughter is ill. And as Yajaira Espinoza, a 55-year-old hairdresser, made her way down the halls of Caracas university hospital on Friday, Zika cases evident in the rooms around her, a dense ash-filled smog enveloped the city.I suspect the lack of coverage of the failure of Venezulan socialism is intentional, because this time the socialists will get it right.
"I am so sorry for my daughter, because I know she suffers silently," she said. "This situation is hard."
It has been an exceptionally painful year for Venezuelans, suffering from violent crime, chronic shortages, plummeting oil prices on which they depend, declining health and fractured government. Yet this past week it seemed to reach a new low. A kind of resigned misery spread across a city that had once been the envy of Latin America.
A sudden combination of natural disasters joined man-made failures. The smog, called calima, is a meteorological phenomenon that involves ash and dust clouds fairly common for this time of year. Meanwhile a prolonged drought blamed on El Nino and related forest fires has arrived. Levels at the Guri dam in the south, which produces 40 percent of the country’s electricity, are reaching record lows.
Water Trucks RobbedThe lack of public order means attempts to alleviate the problems are going poorly. Water trucks dispatched to help reduce suffering from the drought, for example, are being routinely robbed.
Monday, April 18, 2016
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