This is pure propaganda disguised as journalism. Defectors tales are notoriously unreliable and the use of anonymous sources, always negative, are carefully chosen to create the desired impression in the reader. Thousands of Cuban doctors have been involved in the overseas programs Cuba has provided but only 16 defectors are used as sources. Yes, Venezuela is currently an economic basket case and the only reason given by the article is it's Maduro's fault -- no mention of the years of sanctions instituted by the US, the seizure of Venezuela's overseas bank accounts and properties that are one of the major causes of the shortages of food and medicine. Here is an example of how the article spins "information" to create a negative impression: "It’s unclear how many other doctors have abandoned Cuba’s medical missions around the world — informal estimates are in the thousands — but the consequences are stark." The impression is that probably thousands of Cuban doctors have defected and this impression is based on "informal estimates" whatever that means as the actual number is "unclear": in other words, one doesn't know one way or the other the number of defectors, there are defectors, of course, so throw out "thousands" to beef up the negative slant you want to spin, and also toss in the "stark consequences" which face these defectors (which also face any refugees, including voluntary ones with medical degrees). The article is peppered with these sorts of spins and slants and is part of the propaganda war being waged by the US to condition us to be ready to support a military intervention if the US decides it would be feasible. The New York Times and other US mass media played the same role in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq only to later repent and try and hide the role they play in support of US imperialist foreign policy. As far as the distribution of food and medicine is concerned this can be spun any way you like either as a dastardly manipulation by the evil forces of Maduro or as a rational response to shortages caused by US sanctions along with reminders that these socialist programs will most likely be abandoned under an anti-socialist government. It depends on which side of the barricades you are on.

President Nicolás Maduro sent doctors door-to-door to warn the ill and elderly that care would be cut off unless they voted for the governing party, said 16 Cuban physicians who worked in Venezuela.