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The Frente Amplio [Wide Front] (FA), a coalition of opposition political and civil society organizations, is currently holding consultations on whether to organize a national strike. The goal of the consultations, according to the FA, is to bring its constituents together to help decide what such a strike would look like, and how to best coordinate to maximize its efficiency.

The announcement was made by one of the FA’s members, a university professor by the name of Victor Marques, during a press conference yesterday. During the press conference, Marquez explained that it was not up to the FA to make the call regarding the strike, and that it would instead look to its constituents for a decision.

Marquez said:

… the Frente Amplio has decided to evaluate the possibility of carrying out or [national strike], which is something that the different social sectors, which are organized in different ways, will have to decide because the Frente Amplio will not make this decision. It’s up to the social sectors to make that decision because it’s the social sectors that are affected [by the crisis].

The consultations are expected to last one week, at the end of which the FA would make the results public.

The FA was created in March of this year as a coalition not only of opposition political parties, but also of civil society groups that could work together challenge the Maduro regime. The organization rose partially out of the apparent collapse of the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) bloc, which is made entirely out of opposition political parties and which proved itself largely unable to slow Maduro’s drive towards authoritarianism.

El Nacional: 336,000+ Chronic Patients Unable to Get Medicine

El Nacional published an article today in which it claims that approximately 336,900 Venezuelans suffering from a host of chronic illnesses do not have any access to the medications that they need. On average, the newspaper reports, a Venezuelan person in need of medicine for a chronic condition has gone two years without it.

Hemophiliacs are one of the groups of people included in the figure. According to Antonia Luque, the head of the Asociacion Venezolana de Hemofilia [Venezuelan Hemophiliac Association] (AVH), at least 51 people with the condition have died since 2016, with eight of the fatalities happening this year. She explained:

Hemophiliacs have paid with their lives for the situation affecting the country due to the lack of coagulants, [and] specifically for not having access to the treatment used for the condition… this is a situation that we have never seen before.

Luque went on to say that the lack of medicine is not the only result of the country’s healthcare crisis, since doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers have been leaving the country in droves. As an example, she said that the Caracas blood bank currently has only one staff member, down from the 15 that would normally work there.

There are approximately 4,900 hemophiliacs in Venezuela, Luque said, and at least 51 of them have left the country recently to receive treatment elsewhere, namely in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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