A group of nurses and other healthcare workers staged a protest today in Valencia, Carabobo state as part of a nationwide strike action by nurses to call attention to the flight of the sector and its workers. As part of the strike, only hospital emergencies are operating.
The workers in Carabobo aired some of their grievances to reporters at the scene of their protest. Julio Garcia, the president of the Colegio de Enfermeros de Carabobo (Carabobo College of Nurses), said:
We can’t count on any protective measures. We don’t have gloves [or] masks to work in the hospitals.
A nurse named Maritza Sifontes told reporters at the protest that the collapse of the healthcare sector affects its former workers, too. Sifontes said that retired healthcare professionals take home Bs. 40,000 in pensions, which is approximately $1.69 at the official exchange rate of Bs. 23,605.94/USD. On their plight, Sifontes said:
We [current workers] are collecting from what little we make so that we can help those colleagues. How is it that professionals like us have to suffer from those conditions?
At the protest in Caracas, Ana Rosario Contreras, the president of the Colegio de Enfermeria de Caracas (Caracas College of Nurses) told reporters:
There is hunger in our homes. Are shoes are broken. Our uniforms don’t fit. The issue of salaries and undignified conditions affect us all.
Another protester at the scene said:
What does a nurse buy with their salary? We don’t have shoes, we don’t have uniforms, we don’t have water, we don’t have supplies. How can we survive? We come [to work] out of vocation.
Pro-Gov’t Group Intimidate Nurses at Protest
At a healthcare protest in front of the Maracay Central Hospital in Aragua state, a group of pro-government individuals harassed nurses and other demonstrators.
In the two images below, the group (on motorcycles) can be seen in the vicinity of the hospital:
According to journalists at the scene, the protesters dispersed at the sight of the group.
It is not uncommon for pro-government groups, known in Venezuela as colectivos armados, to harass, intimidate and sometimes attack opposition demonstrators at protests.
Econometrica: October Inflation Hit 25%
Henkel Garcia, the head of the economic research firm Econometrica, said in a public statement today that Venezuela’s inflation rate for the month of October was 25%, a figure that he qualified as “relatively low”.
Garcia said that the October rate can be explained in part by the “stability” between the price of US dollars at the black market and the official rate.
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