...That’s no minor issue, according to Botello, who depended on the free meals because his scholarship did not even cover the rent for the room where he lived.
His academic adviser, Jorge Mostany, retired a year ago and took his young family to Spain.
Mostany, who is finishing his term as president of the Venezuelan Chemical Society, was exhausted by scrounging for diapers, milk, and other necessities on a salary that had dropped to the equivalent of about $50 a month. He now lives in an annex to his parents’ home in Alicante, Spain, where he collaborates with University of Alicante colleagues but does not have a position.
Databases of journals in Venezuelan university libraries are four or five years out of date because of lack of funds. Students pass photocopied books around, and researchers ask friends in other universities or abroad for items they cannot obtain.
When repeated power outages blew fuses in a laboratory at Metropolitan University and no replacements could be found, Scharifker tweeted his frustration. In response, students in Florida shipped him fuses.
Theft of computers and lab equipment is common, especially on the Central University’s open campus, where criminals once burst into a classroom and stripped the students of their cell phones and laptops...Best wishes to them.