The dismissal of Caporale, a gynaecologist by profession, followed a damning report on the scale of the health crisis in Venezuela, which was released on May 9 and provides data relating to 2016. Amid much data secrecy, the first official release of health statistics since July 2015 is welcome, but the appointment of the 16th health minister in 18 years -- and the eighth since Maduro took office in 2013 -- is an inadequate response.
- Ongoing anti-government protests will be sustained, with this latest release further aggravating popular grievance.
- Pressure for leadership change from within the PSUV will be stepped up.
- External assistance will be needed to tackle the health crisis.