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VOA Connect 13: Life in Venezuela

((Banner: Hardships))
((Reporter/Camera: Fabiana Rondon))

((Adapted by: Philip Alexiou))

((Map: United States / Virginia / Reston))
((Map: Venezuela / Petare))
((BANNER: Aracelis Turmero is 35 years old. She lives with her three children. She suffers from cancer and tuberculosis.))

I'm not receiving treatment for either of two diseases. For cancer there is no chemo and for tuberculosis there are no pills. I'm a single mother. I sustain the home. I feel bad because I do not have treatment. I break down more every day. I'm very thin. It is difficult to get food for everyone and that causes my body to feel pain. I do not sleep. It's not so much being poor, it's just having to go through that much work.
((BANNER: Julieta Escalona is 38 years old and had seven children))

My son, what happened, he didn’t have food and he died. He was so malnourished that his bones were visible and his face was not the same. Sometimes we go all day without eating until night. I look for a way to get food and give it to the little ones. They start crying, "Mommy I'm hungry" and that breaks my soul. It's not easy to go through this. Poverty is the state that I am in right now. We can’t even buy candy.

((BANNER: Luis Medina is 64 years old, is disabled and uses a wheel chair.))

The situation is difficult and I feel hope will never come. Going through these needs, we even have to eat rocks. Because we are in a very difficult situation. I feel bad because the medicines do not reach me, nor do I get them, or do I have any way to buy them. I do not go to bed eating and I don’t have breakfast or lunch during the day. I do not wish this on anyone. At night you don't sleep and your stomach roars like you have a lion. I am more protected outside when it's raining than in here. I don't even know how I'm alive. We do not have a life here. The devil is coming for us.