Photo: Wil Riera for The Washington Post

It’s becoming harder to find people who don’t have a relative, friend and/or acquaintance living abroad at this moment. Many people that myself and my family know have either left or have someone close to them in another country.

But beyond that emotional cost, the larger consequences of the Venezuelan exodus are been felt in very critical areas of our society, according to this report from The Washington Post (which was co-written by former Caracas Chronicles colaborator Rachelle Krygier).

But beyond that emotional cost, the larger consequences of the Venezuelan exodus are been felt in very critical areas of our society.

Take for example the educational system: Local NGO “Se Educa” told WaPo that at least 48,000 teachers have quit and most of them have left Venezuela. That number shows a huge jump in comparison to what the same NGO registered in July 2017.

The situation in our public healthcare is not different. Here’s a small snippet from the article.

“At the Jose Manuel de los Rios Children’s Hospital in Caracas, 68 doctors — or 20 percent of the medical staff — quit and left the country over the past two years. The hospital’s cardiology department is now only open for a morning shift, since three of its six specialists are gone. There are 300 vacant nursing positions. Personnel shortages are so bad that the facility can only staff two of its seven operating rooms.

“It now takes eight months to a year for a surgery appointment,” said Huniades Urbina, a senior staff pediatrician.”

Plenty of qualified personnel decided to simply leave their posts looking for better opportunities elsewhere.

Not just that. From the Caracas Subway (Metro) to the electrical sector, plenty of qualified personnel decided to simply leave their posts looking for better opportunities elsewhere. And finding people with who can replace them is a really difficult task.

Of course, the negative aspects of the Venezuelan exodus are being suffered, not only by the most vulnerable sectors (like Juan Carlos Gabaldon recently reported), but by the entire country.

To makes matters worse, this terrible trend shows no end in sight. And the government can’t insult the way out of this problem. Right, Mr. Arreaza?

Special mention should be given to the work of freelance photographer Wil Riera who recently suffered a medical emergency and is currently on a medically-induced coma. Our best wishes to his family, friends and colleagues. You can help him with his medical expenses by donating to this GoFundMe fundraiser.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.

23 COMMENTS

  1. I’d be willing to bet that most anyone you ask on the streets today knows someone personally who has quit the country. I was astounded the last time Stepdaughter No. 2 recounted how many people I knew when I lived in Maturin are no longer in the country.

    And it’s not just finding “skilled” workers that’s the problem. Finding anyone to work is the problem. I’m hearing the same comments over and over, mostly from local farmers and ranchers…………”we can’t keep anyone, no one wants to stay and work…..and it doesn’t matter the pay, doesn’t matter that their meals are provided with the job”.

    I haven’t kept up with the gubmint give-aways, but it seems that every time one turns around they’re handing out some new bono…..1.5 million here, 2.5 million there. And one guy told me today, those with the carnet de la patria (most everyone still here basically) are the worst since that’s where the worthless bs are going, to those cardholders.

    Around the bowl and down the hole.

      • Good memory Pilk, and you’re correct. They have no work (zero income), do nothing all day everyday, but expect to get paid double on the weekend.

        I still use those two kids once or twice a week when I’ve got odd jobs that require heavy lifting, but never on Saturday or Sunday. Since we’re down to our last 1,000 kilos or so of corn (it’s already trillado and stored in plastic drums), there will be very limited work for them once that’s gone.

        While my plastic drums require almost zero maintenance, starting in August we’ll be reviewing, grading, and conditioning our steel drums for this year’s corn harvest. Though at this point, I am by no means certain that there will even be a corn harvest this year. Not only has nothing been planted here locally, I’ve not even seen a single hectar being plowed and readied for planting.

        It’s grim, very very grim and no end in sight.

          • If what was spent or is being spent on cocaine, they just have fentanil and meth type, they won’t have clients, thank tech for the webcams

        • @MRubio….wow, if the locals don’t even intend to put in a crop this year then I hope you will be able to get corn from your alternate source that you spoke about the other day. Seems like just when you think things can’t get any shittier you find out that yes they can….

          • Boludo, for the country as a whole, that might be accurate, but I’d bet that the number of hectars planted in 2017 in my immediate area (40 kilometer radius) was 10% of what it was two years before. I drive all this area duing the planting season to see who’s got what and where, and also know the harvester owners and make early contact with all of them. They’re typically paid with corn for their services, not cash, and therefore are eager to sell, right out of the combine if possible. Last year’s harvest was miserable…..poor yields and small grain size despite perfect rainfall.

            Tom, I’ve got one excellent local contact who owns his own equipment……tractors, plows, planters, sprayers, even including the combine. He pays no one on the outside except for grain, chemicals, and fertilizer. Costs are so crazy right now that for most of the local producers, if they don’t have bank credit, they simply cannot afford to pay for land prep plus seed, fertilizer, etc.

            This fellow and I did a lot of business last year for the first time and developed a very good relationship. If he plants enough here locally this year, I’ll probably not even shop around and just buy all I can from him. When others were quoting 3500 bs per kilo, he quoted 2500 bs per kilo and held that price throughout the entire 200 hectars he was harvesting. That was over several weeks time and every time I called him for another 5,000 kilos, I was expecting to hear a higher price. He didn’t budge.

            He complained recently that a lot of his crop was stolen directly from the field and was considering planting with a family member who has land that’s more remote. Unfortunately it’s a good distance away from here. That, of course, would add a lot to my transportation costs.

            Time will tell.

          • I’d bet that the number of hectars planted in 2017 in my immediate area (40 kilometer radius) was 10% of what it was two years before.

            I quoted figures to 2016. The 2017 figures will be even worse. Ditto 2018.

            Even though the actual figures will be worse, I would not be surprised if the regime “wises up” and manipulates the figures it sends to FAO. FAO publishes only what governments send it. Some Chavista government honcho messed up and sent accurate data to the FAO regarding grain production. (In most cases, the FAO doesn’t have any data for Venezuela past 2013.)

            Recall what happened to Infant Mortality data. The Health Ministry published a bulletin with data showing that Infant Mortality rose 30% in 2016. Within days, the Health Minister was fired. A year later, the World Bank shows Infant Mortality data which indicates that from 2015 to 2016, Infant Mortality declined in Venezuela. Which is a damned lie. The World Bank gets its data from the respective governments. Which is why it has bogus Infant Mortality data for 2016 in Venezuela.

            Maduro et al refuse to let charity food into the country unless they have absolute control of it. (Sovereignity= Chavista control.) Mass starvation on the horizon?

    • The “bonos/Misiones/etc. don’t go very far vs. hyperinflation almost daily consumer price increases. Other factors in unwillingness to work, besides Ven. cultural proclivity: public transport non-availability/prohibitive cash expense (Ccs one-way Bs. 10m CASH, which costs min. triple to obtain usually from non-bank sources (banks may give Bs.10m in automatic tellers after a long wait), and not readily available anyway; Ccs-Tuy Valley Bs. 50m cash one-way; min. wage of 80% pop.–Bs. 2.5mm max.); high probability of holdup/bodily harm during often 3/+ hrs. each way from work in urban centers, usually beginning AM dark/finishing PM dark; physical weakness from malnutrition/lack of food; endemic sickness untreated from lack of medicines/epidemics like malaria/etc.; employee short job duration due to frequent employee stealing, always part of the culture, now epidemic, since it is not punished by law (98% impunity/Caldera’s COPP law); and the beat (-down) goes on….

        • The fellow who made the comment today about not being able to keep anyone said they were paying 1MM per week IN CASH. For purchasing’s sake, that’s like 2MM per week because most things bought with cash cost half or less of when one pays by transfer. I’ve personally seen vendors ask 5 times the price of cash for the same product when paying by transfer. Also included in the rancher’s offer of employment are housing and meals (and these guys raise cattle so they eat meat), transport to town when they’re ready for a few days off, and they still can’t keep anyone employed.

          It’s virtually impossible to produce anything in this country today. If it’s not the skyrocketing inflation and lack of spare parts, it’s obstacles thrown in your way by the goverment.

          • 1mm/wk. even cash=1 small Heinz catsup, or maybe a dozen eggs. or maybe a kg. of the cheapest white cheese. Now, MR/CC, please tell me how the typical Ven. family of 4+ can even eat 1m or so calories each a day….?

          • Net, it’s tough today and I don’t know how most of them get by. But, for example, with that 1MM bs, one could buy here at my bodega 6.6 kilos of maiz trillado which converts to 13.3 kilos of masa to make arepas. What’s an arepa weigh, 300 grams max, a big one? Yeah, there’s lots of other stuff one needs to survive, but my point is 1MM bs per week is still not nothing today.

            If I had kids to feed, I’d rather work and send 1MM bs a week, in cash, home than sit on the corner with the rest of the family sucking on ripe mangos, and wondering where the next meal will come from. That’s what most of them are doing today. I know because I see it every single day.

            But that’s just me.

  2. Since we’re talking 18 years plus of Chavismo, and I know this is going to hurt for many people to hear…

    One has to be suspect of anyone in the VZ medical arena.

    They’re not qualified to work elsewhere, which is why they aren’t.

    But of course, expect to see…and we’ve seen it here…VZ medical folks complaining that they can’t transfer their “credentials” to real countries, who don’t recognize their inferior medical training.

    • Venezuelan medics are actually well trained IF they come from one of the old universities like UCV or UDO. Now, If they are MIC (medico integral comunitario) then you might as well self medicate, odds are you’ll have better results that way.

  3. As far as teachers, not a single country has gotten it right.

    If one is teaching third grade, all they need is to have graduated FOURTH grade!

  4. MR, thanks, I know it’s better to work and get little than not work and get nothing, but that’s our Protestant work ethic. Besides the mango sitters/suckers, there’s at least one family member actively thieving. BTW, whole chicken is going up to 2.5mm/kg. this week, so 1mm cash might buy 1kg. of chicken.

  5. Also, what a lot of people with seemingly no job are doing now is spending the whole day at the bank to get cash, as cash has a lot more purchasing power than electronic money. If I recall correctly CC was reporting that the start of the year less than 7% of the money circulating was cash, and at the start of the year there were 130 billones (not to be confused with american billions) bs circulating, we already surpassed 1 mil billones so that cash percentage is growing ever thinner (and 1mil billones = 1 quadrillion).

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