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realclearworld

Reports from Cuba’s Venezuela: Empty hospitals, empty airports

Via Venezuela News & Views:

Empty hospitals, empty airports

While Capriles and the MUD keep gazing at their navel and while chavismo tries to find a novel idea, the country keeps sinking at a steady pace. Today we had two gems that speak volumes about what await us.

Tonight I was watching CNNE "dinero" which is becoming the best newscast about Venezuela economy, since here, well, you know....The topic tonight was the disaster of Venezuelan public hospitals where in addition of being murdered during surgery by a gang, there is a dramatic lack of supplies. Summary here.  What was more striking here is that Xabier Serbia insisted over and over again that the problem was not only currency exchange control and lack of USD, but that corruption in hospitals was to blame. A lot. That is right, the implications here is that hospital directors in Venezuela, free from any control, with all sort of paramilitary chavista groups having free access to hospitals to "supervise" "ensure security" etc. are simply unable to control what is going on, if not becoming themselves active participants tot he looting.

What am I supposed to conclude? That corruption has reached such ramifications that there is nothing we can do about it anymore? That the deep roots of corruption, even at the expense of the lives of el pueblo, are the best guarantee of regime survival?

Earlier on today we learned that Delta airlines is also suspending its services to Venezuela. From 7 fights a week to Atlanta we will go down to a single round trip on Sundays starting August. People who had a ticket scheduled for a return after July 31 will see their travel plans canceled outright and their ticket refunded. Too bad for their vacation, business trip, what not. Those who by chance had a return on Sunday are OK. Delta dose not even try to put its passengers on other airlines: there are none with the US as american went down from 48 a week to 10 a few weeks ago and probably has not been able to reroute all of its own passengers.

This Delta thing affect me in particular as it was my way to the US, avoiding at all costs transit through Miami. Delta was informally THE airlines of those of us in Venezuela who saw no charm in Miami, who spoke English well enough to be able to shop on our own in South Dakota if needed. Delta was the airline of those who actually like to go to the US, not to Miami. And sure enough, today one of my relatives had its long planed family vacation (tickets bought almost a year ago) wrecked...

But these inconveniences are only a curio note. The real problem here is that Delta is one of the last airlines that cut its services. Most of them have already dropped their frequency or started sending smaller airplanes. The meaning is clear: airlines are starting to come to grips with the fact that the regime IS NOT going to pay the 4 something billion dollars it owes to the airlines. It will not. Period. In fact, even the meager palliative offers that have been under painful discussions for months are not even respected by the regime. The regime has decided to isolate Venezuela. Period, again.

The first consequence is that in a socialist paradise only the rich, those who have dollars outside of the country, will be able to travel in an out as the airlines are starting to sell plane tickets only for dollars. The VBE is not accepted anymore.

The second consequence is worse: in time of crisis, Venezuela isolates itself further from humanity, from technological help, from help.

Truly, with an isolation that is going to breed even more desperate corruption, I see no way out of our crisis.

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