The socialist “revolution” against democracy and free markets is proceeding in Venezuela, with the authoritarian government downplaying a mysterious disease outbreak as print media in the country slowly dies off.
As reported by WPLG’s Local 10 News in Miami, there have been at least 10 deaths from the as-yet-unidentified disease. The deaths have occurred in several Venezuelan cities, including the capital of Caracas. As it spreads, the disease is creating panic among the population and has led some of the nation’s physicians to sound the alarm.
However, as WPLG reported, the warnings are being downplayed by the socialist government:
A government spokesman minimized the warnings and described efforts to notify the public of a disease that has killed four adults and four children as a “campaign of disinformation and terrorism.”
‘We do not know what it is’
However, though the government remains in denial mode, doctors in Venezuela are taking the threat seriously; they say there is genuine reason for concern, especially in a country where government policies have created nightmarish shortages of everything from basic food supplies to medicines. Plus, they say the disease is both dangerous and contagious.
“We do not know what it is,” Duglas Leon Natera, president of the Venezuelan Medical Federation, said, according to WPLG.
At first, those infected present with a fever and spots on the skin, which then produce large blisters followed by internal and external bleeding, says data provided by the College of Physicians in the state of Aragua, where the first cases were seen.
From that point, the disease progresses very quickly; patients begin suffering from respiratory failure, then kidney failure. And thus far, Venezuelan doctors have not been able to figure out what they are dealing with, let alone a treatment plan.
And the government is hindering the process, largely by denying that there even is “a mysterious disease,” because that’s what dictatorial, socialist leaders do: claim infallibility and blame others. One official called the doctors’ information nothing but a “media campaign against Venezuela.”
And the governor of the state of Aragua, Tarek El-Aissami, along with Communications Minister Delcy Rodriguez, has labeled the warnings a “defamatory” strategy to “distress to the population.”
Doctors are not completely in the dark; some have speculated on what the disease might be. Theories include a new type of very aggressive, severe dengue fever and a different version of Chikungunya fever; some have even suggested that it could be Ebola.
Meanwhile, as its people die, so, too, does Venezuela’s ability to inform its people; the country’s print media is slowing dying too, suffering from a lack of newsprint, as WPLG reported:
Media watchdogs are predicting the death of print media outlets in Venezuela due to the difficulties in acquiring newsprint, which has led to diminished circulation and the shutting down of newspapers and magazines in the South American country.
According to a newly released report by the Institute for Press and Society of Venezuela, or IPYS, 34 newspapers and magazines in 11 states have reported in the past year chronic shortages and difficulties acquiring supplies and other materials to print, such as ink, film and plates.
‘The death of free press’
The situation has been made worse by the government’s strict controls on acquiring foreign exchange, as well as interference in the internal processes of suppliers. An exchange rate control was enacted in the country 11 years ago; it required companies to apply for permits in order to purchase foreign currency and import goods. And newspaper owners have been saying it has been months since they were granted permits to buy newsprint.
“Due to the impossibility of securing newsprint and print materials, 10 print outlets have stopped circulating altogether and four others have halted circulation temporarily,” WPLG reported. “Others have reduced the number of pages per edition, sometimes by more than half, or stopped running during the weekend in order to survive.”
In fact, the report said, the oldest Venezuelan daily, El Impulso, nearly shuttered recently.
“The newspaper industry is in a coma in Venezuela,” the paper’s president, Carlos Eduardo Carmona, said. “The government is slowly killing the free press in Venezuela.”
As for the doctors who tried to warn the public? Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered them prosecuted for “a scheme of alarm, of psychological terrorism.