CORPSES 'EXPLODING' IN DECREPIT VENEZUELAN HOSPITALS
It was one of the more macabre stories to emerge out of socialist Venezuela -- and served as a metaphor for the final days of the rotting regime.
In a hospital morgue, a bloated corpse exploded.
The morgue's barely functioning cooling system was to blame – hardly a surprise in the oil-rich yet impoverished nation whose health-care system has collapsed under the socialist government. Decomposing for two days in the tropical heat, the corpse finally exploded in a spray of toxic fluids and gasses. The ghastly incident earlier this month necessitated the partial evacuation of the hospital, University Hospital Antonio Patricio de Alcalá, located in Cumaná -- a city of 825,000 in eastern Venezuela. Patients in nearby rooms and corridors were sickened to their stomachs by the stench.
“It’s not the first time that a body exploded,” a hospital employee told a Venezuelan media outlet. “It has already occurred two times since the middle of September.”
The hospital certainly was not always a house of horrors. It was once regarded as one of Venezuela's best public hospitals -- a standard-bearer for health care, according to the Venezuela news site La Patilla. Recently, La Patilla sent a reporter with a hidden camera through the facility: it revealed patients unattended in hallways and the emergency room, shortages of essential equipment, and a lack of air conditioning in wards. The hospital is yet another example of economic decay under “21st Century Socialism" – what Venezuela's late firebrand president, Hugo Chávez, had pledged would turn the South American nation into a workers paradise. Socialism, however, has turned Venezuela into a workers hell.