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Monday, May 13, 2019


by Elane Gutterman

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Red Cross volunteers distributed the first shipment of badly needed emergency supplies in Venezuela on Tuesday after months of feuding between the government, which has denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis, and opponents who have been seeking to use the delivery of aid to force President Nicolás Maduro from power. —AP, April 16, 2019

A father hugs his child good night, his nightmare, her dwindling insulin doses.
For love of his country, Maduro turns down aid, insists “We aren’t beggars.”

A mother sells her thick, braided hair to buy rice, beans and chicken for her children.
With chants of venceremos, Maduro raises his fist “We aren’t beggars.”

A mother grieves for her older child stabbed when they grabbed his cell phone.
With hatred toward his enemies, Maduro resists “We aren’t beggars.”

A pregnant teen reveals there were no contraceptives or money to buy them.
In his embrace of the dead Chavez, Maduro can’t desist “We aren’t beggars.”

Now a father lines up by a Red Cross van for water purification tablets.
As a maid pours his fine wine, Maduro shifts yet persists “We aren’t beggars.”

In the latest issue of Journal of Global Oncology, Elane Gutterman, a health researcher, read how cancer care in Venezuela has been transformed from an advanced level of diagnosis and treatment to rudimentary services through government policies and indifference. In addition, she credits her friend and former Spanish teacher, Ana M., with making the needless suffering of the population personal through sharing stories of her Venezuelan family. Elane has published poems in Patterson Literary Review, U.S. 1 Summer Fiction Issue, Kelsey Review and TheNewVerse.News.