If you’re in the hospital in Venezuela, you’re in serious trouble.
Dr. Elizabeth Ball, a teaching professor at University Hospital, Caracas, says that there are shortages of everything from anesthetic to printer paper, and many of the lights are out due to power cuts.
The hospital’s problems only mirror the greater crisis of just about everything in Venezuela. Workers are laid off, basic goods are in short supply, and power outages are the rule, not the exception. “Already scarce food is going bad in non-working refrigerators” says Jose Manuel Gonzalez.
There are two main reasons for this dire situation according to Gonzalez. Venezuela depends on oil revenue and oil prices have plummeted; also, the country is having a severe drought, putting too much pressure on its one hydroelectric plant.
A lot of the blame is being put on President Nicolas Maduro, the hand-picked successor of the late Hugo Chavez. Critics say the country should never have depended solely on the revenue from a volatile commodity like oil.
But Maduro has supporters and says he’s working on borrowing money from China. He also says he’s not ready to step down. According to Reuters, he told detractors, “You won’t get rid of me.”