Caracas — At one of Caracas’s biggest public hospitals, most bathrooms are closed. Patients fill jugs from a tiny tap on the ground floor that sometimes has a trickle of water. Operations are postponed or cancelled. The Central Venezuelan University hospital, once a Latin American leader, is reeling as taps run dry. "I have gone to the operation bloc and opened the tap to wash my hands, as you must do before a surgery, and nothing comes out," said gynecologist Lina Figueria.

Water cuts are the latest addition to a long list of woes for Venezuelans hurting from a fifth year of an economic crisis that has sparked malnutrition, hyperinflation and emigration.

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