Venezuela: US pulls all staff from failed socialist state as people die of hunger, swarm sewage drains in search of water
The United States has said it will withdraw all remaining diplomatic staff from Venezuela as at least 21 people – six of them babies – have so far died as a result of a six-day nationwide power blackout.
The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, announced the decision to vacate the US embassy in the failed socialist country’s capital, Caracas, late on Monday.
“This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in #Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of US diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on US policy,” Pompeo tweeted.
Without power, water has not been able to be pumped into homes, leaving many in the capital to gather it in buckets and bottles from rivers and drains.
Businesses have been shut down, hospitals have struggled to operate and public transport has barely functioned during the nearly week-long crisis.
A severely malnourished 19-year-old girl died in her mother’s arms after doctors in Venezuela were forced to turn her away because a massive blackout shut down a hospital.
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Díaz visited a local Integral Diagnostic Center in the northern city of Valencia on Saturday night but was immediately turned away by doctors because their shift had ended because the facility didn’t have any electricity.
Upon arriving at a second hospital, the family was shunned at the entrance because it didn’t have a functional backup power generator.
The girl died in her arms moments later.
Heartbroken mother Elizabeth Díaz was forced to carry her daughter’s body, which weighed just 10 kilograms, through the streets to a morgue.
“These are not just numbers, these are Venezuelan lives that would not have been lost were it not for the ineptitude of Nicolas Maduro,” tweeted José Manuel Olivares, a doctor and opposition politician.
According to Olivares’s count, 15 patients died in the Manuel Núñez Tovar hospital in the north-eastern city of Maturín after the lights went out there following Thursday’s outage, which has yet to be resolved.
Two newborn babies died in the Hospital de Los Magallanes de Catia in Caracas, one of which was suffering from severe malnutrition.
Olivares said that the number of deaths would rise as the true extent of the calamity became clearer. The power cut meant it had still not been possible to communicate with many hospitals.
In a televised nationwide address on Monday night, socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro pointed the finger of blame for his failed socialist country, at the White House.
“The United States’ imperialist government ordered this attack,” the dictator claimed in his 35-minute speech.