Venezuelan children with cancer die, and accusations fly

The deaths of several cancer-stricken Venezuelan children who were awaiting bone marrow transplants have ignited a bitter dispute between the government and opponents over who is to blame.

Several dozen people protested this week outside the J. M. de los Ríos pediatric hospital after the reported deaths there of four children on a transplant waiting list. Many said President Nicolás Maduro’s government is responsible for deteriorating medical care in a country that has suffered a humanitarian crisis for years.

But government human rights official Larry Devoe says U.S. sanctions blocked funds that Venezuela could have been used to send the children to Italy for bone marrow transplants.

Venezuelan activists say at least two dozen other children need similar transplants.

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