CARACAS – Venezuela is moved by the breast cancer afflicting a woman of Anzoategui state who has always clung to her faith and her solidarity with the people against the deaf ears of the Nicolas Maduro government, which has refused to hear her public outcries.
Elizabeth Salazar, 63, attracted attention this week during an anti-government protest, when she bared her left breast, visibly affected by “ductal carcinoma stage 3,” according to the latest diagnosis on May 3, because of the lack of reagents and medications available here.
She said the disease was diagnosed eight months ago when she went to the doctor with a tiny lump in her breast.
“The first thing they did was give me a biopsy... 23 days went by before they gave me the result,” she told EFE.
From the day she was diagnosed, Elizabeth and her husband Luis Escobar, both of whom said they fight for human rights and have been twice imprisoned during “peaceful” protests, have been in a constant struggle to find a hospital with the necessary reagents to make the examinations.
“I only have the blood tests that I could cover with my insurance, which is miserable,” she said, adding that getting attention in public hospitals is so “sporadic” that every time she gets an appointment there, her blood test results have expired and have to be repeated.
“And so the time went by” and now the cancer has progressed to stage 3, but “there’s still time,” she said, which is why she and her husband decided to undertake a health campaign and attend the June 5 protest in front of the Health Ministry in Caracas.
Salazar said that they were allowed to enter the Health Ministry, but only to “make fun of us,” because the minister, Luis Lopez, refused to see them.
Furthermore, the medication she desperately needs for her chemotherapy – Docetaxel 100 mg – is not to be found.
The medical situation is desperate throughout Venezuela, and she pleads that President Nicolas Maduro “open his heart and accept the humanitarian aid” that other countries have offered.