Venezuelan president calls for international help with inflation crisis

Latin America

Triple-digit inflation has left Venezuelans struggling for even basic necessities. This includes a wide range of medicines.

For months, President Nicolas Maduro insisted there was no crisis. Now he’s asking the international community for help.

CGTN’s Juan Carlos Lamas reports.

Venezuelan president calls for international help with inflation crisis

Triple-digit inflation has left Venezuelans struggling for even basic necessities. This includes a wide range of medicines. For months, President Nicolas Maduro insisted there was no crisis. Now he's asking the international community for help. CGTN's Juan Carlos Lamas reports from Caracas.

According to the Pharmaceutical Federation of Venezuela, patients with HIV, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and even the flu cannot count on finding the medicine they need to survive.

Shortages of medicine have become more severe in recent months, with inventories down 85-percent. The Pharmaceutical Federation of Venezuela has said nearly 1,000 essential medicines are unavailable.

President Nicolas Maduro has asked the United Nations to “continue making permanent progress” in providing medicines for hospitals, but the president of the Pharmaceutical Federation of Venezuela, Freddy Ceballos has said it’s too little and too late.

Maduro has blamed the shortages on what he calls an economic war waged by the political opposition, the private sector and foreign powers.

Former Trade Minister and Pharmacist Eduardo Saman has said smugglers are responsible for much of the problem.

“The medicine we receive is smuggled out of the country, to sell primarily in Colombia. Once there, those medicines are relabeled and sold at a higher price, way higher than the price established in Venezuela,” Saman said.

Over the last two years, medical professionals and their patients have taken to the streets to protest against the shortages of basic medicines and crucial medical supplies.