Public healthcare systems have been weakened by austerity budgets, often enforced by wealthy bondholders and the IMF, who demand the debt service payments and do not care that this money comes out of the public health, public education, and public welfare budgets. Chronic underfunding of the public sector and short staffing of medical workers has plagued much of the capitalist world, especially in the Global South, even before the emergence COVID-19. A ‘care drain’ has further sucked the availability of care workers from the Global South. We must demand the cancelation of debt in the developing world.
The emergence of COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean has accelerated – sometimes dramatically – a series of economic and social processes that had long been underway and revealed the result of decades of neoliberal policies. The increasingly authoritarian policies, precariousness of labour, and the current social crisis are among the consequences of the neoliberal model, which puts capital before people.