‘We are in the hospital suffering’: A child’s life cut short amid Venezuela crisis

CNN nuDeivis Perez didn’t say how much pain he was in. His tears and splitting skin spelled it out.

The teenager needed dialysis treatments for his failing kidneys. But instead of aid, Deivis contracted a deadly bacterial infection called sepsis at a children’s hospital in Venezuela, a nation grappling with severe shortages of medicine and proper equipment amid a wider array of crises.

The water that the hospital used for Deivis’ dialysis machine wasn’t properly kept and filtered, doctors say, allowing bacteria to enter his bloodstream. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.