CARACAS, Wednesday March 28, 2012 | Update

Vice-President Jaua: "Shocking crimes might be induced"

President Hugo Chávez asked: Where would there be greater lack of public security? In Venezuela or in the United States?

Chávez spoke in a mandatory nationwide radio and TV broadcast. He was joined by some Venezuelan ministers (Photo: Miraflores Press Office)
Wednesday March 28, 2012  12:20 PM

Amid a mandatory nationwide broadcast on all free-to air TV and radio channels, live from Cuba, Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez and Executive Vice-President Elías Jaua, talked about insecurity.

Chávez took issue with the US government for posting a statement recommending its citizens to take precautions when traveling to Venezuela to avoid being victims of murder, extortion, kidnapping, robbery or drug trafficking. According to the Venezuelan Head of State, the warning issued by the US State Department shows a synchronized work between the Yankee empire and the Venezuelan opposition."

"Where would there be greater lack of public security in the streets? In Venezuela or in the United States?" Chavez wondered. "You'd better ask; look at the figures or statistics. Murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking, attacks," the president advised. Chávez admitted that his government is assuming the challenge of insecurity. "We are working very hard."

The Venezuelan president announced the approval of USD 408 million on Monday "to deploy the Bolivarian National Police in 15 Venezuelan states" in 2012. Insecurity, he said, "has not only to do with the domestic situation, but with the international environment."

For his part, Vice-President Jaua fingered the opposition for "trying to establish the national weekly agenda." He noted that they failed to impose "the rotten pot of water" and "this week they are trying to highlight the issue of insecurity, terror and anxiety."

"We must be alert against those shocking crimes, which can often be induced from dirty operations. We know how the imperialism works," the Vice-President concluded.

Ailing healthcare system seeking a cure

The news marked an ominous beginning, health-wise, of the year 2015: the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit at Hospital Clínico Universitario, one of the country's largest teaching hospitals, was to close completely on January 5 due to lack of medicines and surgical supplies. All patients who were waiting to be operated on were sent home. More than 10 patients waiting for surgery reportedly died there from lack of basic medical supplies in the two months prior to the closure.

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