In Venezuela, A Box of Condoms Runs $755 as Oil Prices Plummet

This is one of many headlines that people have been talking about here for the last week.

At first, people laugh at it. It’s so…absurd. Then you stop and think. This is a health crisis, catastrophe, atomic bomb in motion.

When you mix one of the highest HIV rates in Latin America with little access to condoms…I mean. I honestly don’t know what to say.

I’m just so, so saddened because the people here are amazing.

One person wrote in the comments, “They don’t have access to Amazon.com?” To use Amazon you need dollars. When your currency has collapsed under a 63% inflation rate who’s thinking of shopping on Amazon? In dollars?

People are talking about trying to find diapers, standing in line for milk, the rising cost of fruit, and being unable to find meat. Again, who’s thinking about Amazon? Not the average Venezuelan.

Now it’s more than just people here don’t have access to dollars. They don’t have access to a basic health necessity.

And that is a damn shame.

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2 thoughts on “In Venezuela, A Box of Condoms Runs $755 as Oil Prices Plummet

  1. I went to the article you linked. The reader who asked “Don’t they have access to Amazon?” was, by far, not the stupidest, most callous or plainly offensive commenter. The vast majority showed an absolute ignorance about Venezuela, and, for that matter, anything outside the confines of the US, And these low level comments were on the PBS site? Our country is in serious trouble.

    I can also relate to your situation. While living in Brazil in the early 1990s, I experienced the rampant inflation then taking place: an average of 40% per month. Inflation for the month of February 1990, six months after I arrived reach 98%… It is amazing how people manage to survive in these conditions. I have no doubt when you say “These people [Venezuelans] are amazing.” Brazilians are, too. 🙂

    • After I saw that one comment and people trying to explain things to the commenter, I stopped reading. It doesn’t surprise me that many American people don’t know (or care) what’s happening outside of the US. I honestly think that’s the norm because 1.) Most Americans don’t hold a passport so they don’t see how people in other parts of the world live (and the resort vacation, though I’m not knocking it, is not seeing how other people live) and 2.) we’re so geographically isolated we don’t have to worry about the rumblings in one country upending our own society. We were shocked with Pearl Harbor and September 11th. A country singer wrote that ignorant line about not knowing the difference between Iraq and Iran after September 11 (my World History teacher played it for the class with tears in his eyes; he was a sweet man but I was not liking that song).

      People were surprised when I came home and said school had been suspended for a week because of last year’s protests. They knew nothing about them, and this is with our 24 hour news cycle.

      Your comments about Brazil make me want to research more about how it was able to turn its economy around. It definitely wasn’t overnight since you’re talking about the 90’s, but it’s a feat nonetheless that Venezuela can take a page from! I have to head back to Brazil one day!

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