The new US hope for replacing the president of Venezuela: coronavirus




The new US hope for replacing the president of Venezuela: coronavirus

Mery Mogollon, Tracy Wilkinson and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times on Published in News & Features

Of 45,000 beds nationwide in 245 hospitals, no more than 20% are functioning, said Pablo Zambrano, general secretary the Federation of Health Workers.

“The health system is very vulnerable, with many problems and errors that have not been corrected,” Zambrano said.

“There’s a lack of supplies, medicines, ambulances, the hospitals don’t have working elevators, and suffer from deteriorated infrastructure and broken equipment,” he said. “We as doctors, paramedics, helpers, do not have the resources needed to confront this crisis and give adequate attention to protect people’s heath.”

Like other Venezuelans, health workers often walk long distances to work because of a lack of gasoline and reduced public transit. Some health professionals have been using homemade masks stitched from cotton clothing and other material.

“But these masks have a usage period of only three days,” Zambrano said. “How can we make more?”

Maduro, who ordered a 30-day stay-at-home order, with shoppers for food and medicines only allowed out in daylight hours, said the country is “prepared” for the crisis — an assertion disputed by the opposition.

“The truth is that the Venezuelan state does not have the capacity to respond to this pandemic,” Guaido said in Caracas in a video message this month.

Reacting to the indictments, the opposition leader said he hoped the charges would “help free the country from the criminal system that has hijacked our country for so many years.

“Our problem is not just a political problem: We are facing a cartel, the Maduro Cartel,” Guaido said.

The indictments handed down Thursday charge Maduro with sponsoring a vast criminal enterprise that shipped cocaine to the United States and supplied Colombian rebels — whom Washington has designated as terrorists — with military-grade weapons.

If there were anything that could force the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro and his opposition to work together, it might have been the coronavirus.

With the pandemic closing in on a country woefully ill-prepared to confront it, the president’s opponents had begun to test the waters of negotiating with him, with the hope that cooperation on a plan to fight the virus might lead to wider political agreement or eventually even new elections.

But this past week, the United States torpedoed that possibility by indicting Maduro and 14 of his top associates on drug-trafficking and related charges. With criminal accusations and the equivalent of an arrest warrant hanging over this head, Maduro will likely be less willing than ever to make concessions.

“This (the indictments) closes the door on any kind of negotiation … now and forever,” said Fernando Cuitz, who worked on Latin American issues for the Trump administration but is now an advisor to the presidential campaign of Joe Biden.


Trump’s Narcoterrorism Indictment Against Maduro Already Backfires

I am curious about what Venezuela is going to look like in future . . .

And this post is rather interesting too:


The Most Revolutionary Act

By Leonardo Flores, Popular Resistance.

For twenty years, right-wing extremists in Miami and Washington have been slandering the Venezuelan government, accusing it of drug trafficking and harboring terrorists without ever offering even a shred of evidence. They finally got their wish on Thursday, when the U.S. Department of Justice unveiled indictments against President Nicolás Maduro and 13 other current or former members of Venezuela’s government and military. In addition to the indictments, Attorney General William Barr offered a $15 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Maduro, as well as $10 million rewards for Diosdado Cabello (president of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly), Tarek El Aissami (vice president for the economy), Hugo Carvajal (former director of military intelligence) and Cliver Alcalá (retired general).

The indictment has backfired already. Hours after the announcement, Alcalá posted videos online that threaten to cause further splits in the opposition and…

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On Friday private hospitals stood down 600 hard-working nurses.

✍️ SIGN: Secure our hospitals and our health workers – public health belongs in public hands!

On Friday private hospitals stood down 600 hard-working nurses.

On Saturday they threatened widespread hospital closures, and 100,000 further job losses – unless the government hands them a cash bailout.2

If the private health industry can’t guarantee public healthcare, and secure jobs for their staff – they need to be immediately nationalised. We need every health worker to be deployed as part of a nationally coordinated fight against coronavirus.

Last week hundreds of thousands of GetUp members signed petitions, emailed their MP’s or picked up the phones – and it’s working.

The government has doubled Newstart3, made it easier to access payments,4 and suspended rental evictions for six months.5

But with private health lobbyists descending on Canberra to argue for bailouts, we need to dial up the pressure right nowThis isn’t a time for public cash grabs, it’s a time for public ownership.

✍️ SIGN: Secure our hospitals and our health workers – public health belongs in public hands!

Around the world, countries like Spain and Ireland have already made the decision to nationalise their private hospitals.6,7

It’s an essential step for a nationally coordinated health response. Governments can ensure that our nurses and doctors are securely employed, while prioritising healthcare delivery for those who need it most.

If private corporations won’t guarantee the healthcare we need, we must immediately nationalise private health assets to keep people alive. We can’t let our healthcare system be taken hostage by lobbyists when we need it most.

Tell Scott Morrison: Stand up to extortion – don’t bail out private hospitals, nationalise them!

Uta, our immediate priorities are twofold: making sure that people get the healthcare they need to survive, while securing the homes, incomes and jobs they need to live with dignity.

We must not allow healthcare workers’ jobs to be used as bargaining chips for the private health lobby.

With the CEO’s of private hospitals taking closed door meetings with Scott Morrison – we need to stand together if our voices are going to be heard today.

Join the campaign for a healthcare system that puts people above profits!

In solidarity,

Ed, Tessa, Rafi, Charlie, Oliver – on behalf of the GetUp team.

[1] “Australian hospitals to shut, 100,000 staff under threat”, The Chronicle, 28 March 2020
[2] “Private Hospitals have warned the Prime Minister and Premiers have just 24 hours to help them stay open”, 7 News Sydney, 29 March 2020
[3] “Australian jobseekers to get $550 payment increase as part of huge coronavirus welfare package”, The Guardian, 22 March 2020
[4] “Government did not plan to inform jobseekers their welfare appointments were suspended”, The Guardian, 25 March 2020
[5] “Commercial and residential rental assistance set to be part of third coronavirus stimulus package”, 7 News, 27 March 2020
[6] “Spain has nationalized all of its private hospitals as the country goes into coronavirus lockdown”, Business Insider Australia, 17 March 2020
[7] “Private hospitals will be made public for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak”, IMAGE, 25 March 2020

Dog attack on NSW beach leaves 91yo woman dead, four others injured

by Tinothy Fernandez and Staff

“An elderly woman is dead and four other people are injured after being attacked by three dogs on the loose at a NSW South Coast beach.

Key points:

  • The dogs, which did not belong to the victims, have been seized
  • The 91-year-old woman suffered serious injuries and died at the scene
  • Four others, including a 71-year-old, are in hospital

The victims were on Collingwood Beach in Vincentia when they were set upon by the dogs, which did not belong to them, about 7:00am.

Five people sustained lacerations and bite marks in the attack, and a 91-year-old woman died at the scene after sustaining serious injuries.

One of the people injured, Pete, who asked only to be referred to by his first name, said he was awoken by the dogs running riot on the beach.

“We were woken this morning by some screams in front of the house, along the beach,” he said.

“I raced down and by that time there was one paramedic there and some older people that were quite distressed.

“I could see then that there were dogs attacking so I sort of walked further up the beach and at that point the dogs turned around and sort of had a go at me.”

“It’s really unfortunate that lady has to end her life that way at 91.”

Pete and three women were taken to Shoalhaven District Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The 91-year-old woman’s 71-year-old daughter was among those injured.

All three dogs, which police said were cross bullmastiffs, have been seized by Shoalhaven Council Rangers.

A crime scene has been set up on the 2.2km beach, which is located near Jervis Bay and usually flooded with visitors attracted to its white sand.

‘Horrific’: Witnesses protected paramedics from dogs

Faye Stockwell of NSW Ambulance said the paramedics who were first on scene found “multiple victims in multiple locations” on the beach.

Witnesses to the attack assisted in protecting emergency services from the dogs as they worked to treat each patient.

She said paramedics were forced to ensure their own safety before they could start treating the victims.

“There was one woman who, despite our efforts, we were unable to assist any further,” she said.

Ms Stockwell said NSW Ambulance was working to support emergency workers who attended the scene

“It was horrific. It was very sad for all of us,” she said.

“We worked together to ensure the best care was given and the main thing now is to be able to support our paramedics.”

NSW Police South Coast Police District Superintendent Greg Moore praised the efforts of all involved.

“I’ll take this opportunity to acknowledge the bravery and the good work by witnesses and the emergency services at the scene that worked to contain the dogs and support the injured at that location,” he said.

He said arrangements were being made to have all three dogs euthanised in the wake of the attack.

“One aspect of the investigation we are looking at is how these animals managed to be out of their premises,” he said.

“I take this opportunity to remind all dog owners that you certainly need to be making sure that your animals are secured, particularly dogs of all vicious breeds.”

In NSW, individuals can face fines in the tens of thousands of dollars if their dog attacks a person or animal, and may face jail time.

What we can learn from the countries winning the coronavirus fight

See how coronavirus is spreading around the world — and what lessons we can take from the countries beating the virus.

Story Lab

0102030405060Number of days since the 100th case010k100k20k30k40k50k60k70k80k90kKnown casesUSItalyChinaUKS. KoreaAustraliaJapanSingaporeTaiwan

One good way to think about the exponential spread of coronavirus is to look at how long it takes for the number of cases in a country to double.

Let’s look at three different scenarios — one in which the number of cases doubles every two days, one where cases double every three days, and one where cases double once every week.

Initially, the differences might look small.

But as time passes the differences increase dramatically.

By week three, the differences are stark — and remember this example started from just one case. Not to mention, the coronavirus pandemic is predicted to run for months.

It’s for this reason that early intervention can have a huge impact. One single infection in the early days of the outbreak can easily scale into hundreds, perhaps even thousands over time.

The flipside, of course, is that every infection avoided early in the outbreak can have a huge positive impact.

What does that look like in the real world? Let’s look first at the source of the outbreak, China.

As you can see, in China the virus initially spread exponentially, with the number of known cases repeatedly doubling in less than two days during the early part of the outbreak.

But it now appears the country has reduced that growth, slowing new cases to a virtual trickle.

Now coronavirus is spreading much more quickly in other parts of the globe.

However, because outbreaks in each country started at different points in time, it’s difficult to compare exactly how, say, Australia’s growth rate compares to China’s in the early days of its outbreak.

So, let’s do two things to help make this a bit easier to understand.

Firstly, let’s narrow it down to a few key countries so we can make it a little easier to read.

And now, let’s change it so that we start tracking cases day-by-day from the moment when each country hit 100 cases. Instead of using the exact date, this brings each country onto roughly the same timeline.

But it’s still difficult to compare the early days of each outbreak, because they’re all so compressed down near the bottom of the chart. To aid with this, we’re going to change the vertical axis of the chart to a logarithmic scale. . . . .

Data shows coronavirus can only be controlled if 8 out of 10 Australians stay home


The success or failure of Australia’s coronavirus fight relies to a remarkable degree on just one thing, new modelling has found.

And that thing is whether individual Australians now follow official advice — and just stay home.

The data comes from a complex model of how COVID-19 could spread in Australia, which finds:

  • Coronavirus will continue to spread virtually unchecked unless at least eight in 10 Australians stay home as much as possible.
  • If that slips even slightly — to seven in 10 people — the fight to ‘flatten the curve’ will be lost.
  • It also suggests that school closures have little effect on controlling the coronavirus outbreak.

Where do these numbers come from?

Researchers at the University of Sydney have built what is effectively a simulation of the entire Australian population using information about where everyone lives, the number of adults and children in each house, how people move around their town or city, and other details such as the locations of schools and airports.

They then essentially add COVID-19 into that simulation, watch how it spreads — and can experiment with how different measures might change its growth.

It can model what might happen with different actions, but it does not necessarily represent what actually happens in the real world.

The modelling was created by the Centre for Complex Systems and the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity at Sydney University. It has been published online but has not yet been through a rigorous peer-review process.

However, the model was previously developed to map the spread of influenza in Australia and the same team published peer-reviewed papers on those results.



We Won’t Go Back to Normal Because Normal Was the Problem

Yes, ‘normal’ was the problem!

The Most Revolutionary Act

Li Zhong (China), Paintings for Wuhan, 2020.

Li Zhong (China), Paintings for Wuhan, 2020.

Dear F­riends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

It is hard to remember that just a few weeks ago, the planet was in motion. There were protests in Delhi (India) and Quito (Ecuador), eruptions against the old order that ranged from anger at the economic policies of austerity and neoliberalism to frustration with the cultural policies of misogyny and racism. Ingeniously, in Santiago (Chile), during its wave after wave of protests, someone projected a powerful slogan onto the side of a building: ‘we won’t go back to normal, because normal was the problem’. Now, in the midst of the novel coronavirus, it seems impossible to imagine a return to the old world, the world that left us so helpless before the arrival of these deadly microscopic particles. Waves of anxiety prevail; death continues to stalk us. If…

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Finding your Joy

This looks really joyful to me!

My Messy Little Brain

Today is day one. Everyday is day one. Today I invite you to start making time for joy and happiness for yourself. You are the only person responsible for your happiness. It is only you who can hear your thoughts, and it is only you who can change them – and yes you can change them, zero magic required.

Anyone who knows me will agree that for the most part I am busy. Things got to the point of overwhelm because I was rushing from one thing to the next and then the next. Don’t misunderstand me, the very vast majority of what I have been rushing too or from were things that bring me enormous joy, training with my friends, practising yoga, teaching yoga, Jutitsu, coffee with friends, work, dinners with the ones I love, life admin (shopping, cooking, cleaning) etc etc.

Gaby Burnstein (who’s thoughts I love) talk…

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Why France is hiding a cheap and tested virus cure

This is a very long read, but probably quite interesting!

The New Dark Age

26 March 2020 — Asia Times

The French government is arguably helping Big Pharma profit from the Covid-19 pandemic

By Pepe Escobar

What’s going on in the fifth largest economy in the world arguably points to a major collusion scandal in which the French government is helping Big Pharma to profit from the expansion of Covid-19. Informed French citizens are absolutely furious about it.

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Could chloroquine treat coronavirus? 5 questions answered about a promising problematic and unproven use for an antimalarial drug.

An employee in Nantong, China, checks the production of chloroquine phosphate, an old drug for the treatment of malaria. Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

An Arizona man died, and his wife was hospitalized, after taking a form of chloroquine, which President Trump has touted as an effective treatment for COVID-19. The couple decided to self-medicate with chloroquine phosphate, which they had on hand to kill parasites in their fish, after hearing the president describe the drug as a “game changer.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, quickly corrected the statement, explaining that Trump’s comments were based on anecdotes and not a controlled clinical trial.

Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. @realDonaldTrump

I am a medicinal chemist who specializes in discovery and development of antiviral drugs, and I have been actively working on coronaviruses for seven years.

However, because I am a scientist and I deal in facts and evidence-based medicine, I am concerned about the sweeping statements the president has been making regarding the use of chloroquine or the closely related hydroxychloroquine, both antimalarial drugs, as cures for COVID-19. So let’s examine the facts.

What are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine?

Please go to original