Venezuela Dictatorship Censoring Doctors to Prevent Talk about New Deadly Disease

Venezuela Dictatorship Censoring Doctors to Prevent Talk about New Deadly Disease

MARACAY, Venezuela—A string of deaths in a hospital here has sparked fears of a potent, mosquito-borne disease and led authorities to seek a doctor’s arrest for allegedly sowing panic, leaving residents wondering how to explain their symptoms.

Angel Sarmiento, president of the College of Doctors in Aragua state, told reporters on Sept. 11 that a virus or bacteria may have been responsible for the deaths of eight patients in quick succession at the Central Hospital of Maracay. A ninth patient died three days after Dr. Sarmiento’s comments.

Insisting there was no cause for general alarm, President Nicolás Maduro last week accused Dr. Sarmiento of “psychological terrorism.”

The confusion in Maracay over the deaths—and over who to believe on their cause—shows how difficult it has become to arrive at a rational approach to public health in Venezuela. Part of the problem, doctors here say, is that the silencing of independent media has squelched the flow of information.

I want to know what killed my daughter so we can avoid this happening to other people

—Yaniret Carmona

“To dissent, to have a position different from the government, leads to a witch hunt,” Dr. Sarmiento said in a telephone interview on Friday. “I am not a terrorist. I am a doctor.” He said he was still in Venezuela but was in hiding because he worried he would face a politically motivated prosecution. Read More:

This story is not just disturbing in regard to Venezuela.  It went dictatorial years ago under Chavez.  It is also disturbing in the United States, as Obama brought in many admirers of the Venezuela dictatorship into his administration.   This could happen here as such things seem to be appealing to many in the Obama Administration.

Obama FCC Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd below praises the anti-diversity dictator Chavez.  This is one example of acceptability of a dictatorship by Obama’s people.

What other dictatorial things has the Venezuela dictatorship done?

La VICTORIA, Venezuela — Forcing stores to sell their merchandise for a price that the owners say will put them out of business may sound like a bad idea, but President Nicola Maduro is not angling to improve the economy, Venezuelans say.

“This is going to help him and his party in the short term,” says Alfredo Ramos , a political science professor at the University of the Andes in Merida. “His actions are motivating his backers to go out and vote, and disheartening his opponents. However, his actions could very well hurt him in the medium term.”

Thousands of people have lined up in front of electronics stores and hardware stores that have been ordered by Maduro to empty their inventories at cut-rate prices.

Maria Davila felt like a winner after emerging from the Traki department store with clothes for herself and her husband, as well as toys for their four children.

Davila spent 14 hours in line to make her purchases after the store reduced prices by up to 70% on merchandise to comply with Maduro’s crusade against the country’s “parasitical bourgeoisie.”

“It was well worth the wait,” Davila, 42, says of her ordeal. “I saved so much money. I feel like I won the lottery.”

Taking a page out of the late Hugo Chavez’s populist playbook, Maduro is attacking the country’s producers and businesses to boost his United Socialist Party of Venezuela for local elections Dec. 8.

His orders may be followed by more. On Tuesday night, Venezuelan lawmakers gave Maduro the power to enact law without legislative approval.


 “The power to enact law without legislative approval”, what American president does that sound like?  That may explain why Chavez and Maduro are so acceptable to Obama’s people.


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