Patients at Venezuela's Antonio Patricio de Alcalá University Hospital in Sucre were evacuated at a cadaver exploded in the morgue after two days of decomposition. The incident is being attributed to faulty storage facilities. “It’s not the first time that a cadaver has exploded,” said a worker at the facility. “It has already occurred two times since the middle of September.  We don’t use formaldehyde here, so the preparation of the bodies is in the hands of undertakers.  There are no disinfectants or chlorine either.”
 
Conditions at the morgue at Sucre's principal medical center have deteriorated to the point that bodies are left exposed for as many as five days on the floor. When gasses caused by the putrefaction burst through decomposing tissue, the nearby patient areas and corridors are affected. Staff at the hospital and morgue are complaining about the resulting unhygienic conditions, as well as the toxic fumes and stench of rotting corpses. The facility lacks the basic necessities for disinfection.
 
When the cadavers burst, patients at the hospital are compelled to leave their rooms and are thus exposed to agents of infection, such as viruses and bacteria cast by decomposing tissue. “We can't bear the stench," said one patient.
 
Venezuela continues to labor under its socialist government. President Nicolas Maduro, who inherited the job from President Hugo Chavez, has continued to crack down on dissidents amidst calls for his resignation. An oil-exporting country, Venezuela's socialist economy has spread poverty, unemployment, and scarcity in what was once among the most advanced economies in South America. The so-called Bolivarian Revolution, instituted by Chavez, brought about estrangement from the United States and warmer relations with Cuba, Iran, and Russia. The Venezuelan government continues to blame the United States and dissidents for sundering the economy. Venezuelans have been reduced to eating zoo animals, stray dogs and cats, and rooting through rubbish heaps to find food.
 
The Bolivarian Revolution gained fans in the United States and Europe throughout the Chavez years. Among those applauding the regime were: actor Sean Penn and movie director Oliver Stone. Of late, Jamie Foxx -- another Hollywood celebrity -- visited Venezuela and was photographed with the deeply unpopular president. In the US, the Citgo petroleum refining and retail company is wholly-owned by Petroleos de Venezuela -- which is wholly owned by the Venezuelan government.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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