In support of the Venezuelan-American Medical Association (VAMA), a non-profit organization with an extensive group of American-Venezuelan physicians living and practicing in the United States, we write this letter to enlist your support and aid in the current Venezuelan humanitarian and health crisis.
The health care system in Venezuela has been in deep crisis for many years, with patients unable to get essential medical treatments and life-saving surgery, partly due to a scarcity of medical supplies and shortages in medicines. In 2015, research reported by Humans Right Watch found that 60 percent of routinely stocked medicines or medical supplies were entirely or partially unavailable in hospitals across the country, and a majority of medicines included in the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines were not available in pharmacies.
Over the last 60 days, we have witnessed a rapid deterioration of the most basic living conditions in Venezuela, the breakdown of a once democratic and free society, the absence of civil liberties, and the relentless violation of human rights. As American citizens, we strongly believe in our founding fathers’ support for freedom and democracy.
Present problems include: food, basic medicines, medical supplies and vaccines shortages, lack of running water and frequent power blackouts. This has led to a public health crisis with rising mortality rates in the country. All groups have been affected but especially maternal and infant mortality rates have skyrocketed. Data is showing the reappearance of diseases like diphtheria and malaria, increased malnutrition rates, hunger and deaths, all of which can be easily prevented. In addition, the peaceful demonstrations in each corner of the country for more than 60 days have been suppressed by the government military forces who have used unlawful force against unarmed people not engaged in violence leading to the death of more than 40 young protesters, the detention of hundreds and the prosecution of civilians in military courts. This crisis has particularly impacted the already fragile health care system prompting the collapse of many hospitals contributing to even more deaths of innocent people.
The Venezuelan government has failed its obligation to ensure availability and accessibility to essential medicines and medical supplies, a violation of international human rights law.
For these multiple reasons, we would like our Government representative to support VAMA (Venezuelan American Medical Association) petition in the objectives that this organization is pursuing.
"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves"