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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/27/19

US Sanctions Leave Millions of Venezuelans Without Water

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Yolimar Contreras lives in a poor barrio, on the hillsides of Caracas, with her husband and her young son, in this two-room cinderblock home.

She's lived here for 7 years. They used to have running water. At least, fairly often. But not anymore.

Yolimar Contreras

Resident, Altos de Lidice

"We haven't had water for 3-4 months, because we're high up on the hillside."

It hasn't stopped her from washing the floors, but now in order to get water, they have to carry it up. One 23-liter jug at a time. She's not alone. Water is out across major portions of the neighborhood.

Yolimar Contrera

Resident, Altos de Lidice

"All week long you see people carrying water by here. Saturdays and Sundays, in particular, when people are off from work."

Here's the problem. The pump needed to push the water up the hill and into their home. Well, it's broken. And U.S. sanctions are blocking the country from acquiring new pumps, motors, pipes and replacement parts.

In Venezuela, they call it the "blockade". That's what it feels like.

According to many residents, the Venezuelan government is doing what it can to mitigate the situation. Twice a week, it sends a tanker of potable water to the neighborhood, down the hill from Yolimar's home.

Some residents here say they've been without running water for a year and a half. They pour into the streets with their waste-high buckets, to wait their turn for their containers to be filled.

Betsy Franquis

Comuna Altos de Lidice

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