Indigenous healthcare has been an issue lately in Venezuela after a mysterious disease killed 38 Warao Indians in August. González says that indigenous lives are gravely underrated in the politics of Venezuela. "The boats, the planes, the money, it's all for the criollos", or the nonnative Venezuelans.
There are 26,000 Yanomamis in the Amazon rain forest, between Venezuela and Brazil, and they are semi-nomadic, subsisting on crops such as maniocs and bananas. These communities are not at all like the indigenous tribes from anthropology books. They can be seen in Puerto Ayacucho wearing modern-day attire and using cellphones. They are, however, extremely susceptible to many diseases for which they still have weak defenses, such as some respiratory diseases and drug-resistant strains of malaria.
Yanomamis say that while the Venezuelan governments put pictures of the tribes all over tourist brochures and in airport lobbies, the tribes are allowed no political positions. This shows the Yanomami community their governments complete lack of respect for the rights and individualism of the indigenous society.