Least the devaluation news would not be enough to illustrate how fast Venezuela is falling apart.
A few moths ago it was reported that the famous Barrio Adentro Mision had about half of its module closed (1). In a cadena a couple of months later Chavez claimed that the Mision had been relaunched, that things were working fine and that soon all modules would be operative. Well, it seems that this not going to happen anytime soon. In addition to the poor management qualities of Venezuelan chavista administration this week we learned that at least a couple of hundred Cuban doctors have defected as simply as taking an airplane to Miami. But for that they had to pay the customs officials to stamp their passport. Many did, authorized in some cases by bribed Cubans supervisors who unaccountably exert apparently important controlling posts at Venezuelan airports!
No major declaration form the Chavez administration so far.... but you can find a nice account in Spanish from Bogota's El Tiempo (for the kick of it) or in English at the Latin American Herald. And more of course, in English at El Universal and in Spanish at the Miami Heraldo.
Devaluation and Barrio Adentro failing hopelessly: no wonder Chavez is such a sour puss these days....
1) Mision Barrio Adentro. The government flagship social program in trouble. The government claims that there are several thousands of those modules which are just a small octagonal building with an apartment for the doctor and a consultation room where some preventive and internal medicine can be operated. Some medicines are handed down for free and cases requiring something more are forwarded to the closest hospital. Most medics were Cuban as too many Venezuelans refused to serve because 1) their safety was not guaranteed and 2) the pay was lousy. In an effort to avoid collapse the Venezuelan government is training as fast as it can Venezuelan supporters to replace them as they obviously cannot stay forever. The training lasts three years. You may make your own conclusions as to the general quality of the service.