Overlooking "Ecocide"

 For one reason or another there are many things the Maduro regime has done or is doing that are overlooked by the international community. Chief among them would be “Ecocide”. Mongabay did a piece on how Venezuelan Amazon deforestation has greatly increased due to lawlessness, mining, and fires in the Amazonian states of Bolivar and Amazonas. Three of the hardest hit areas are Caura, Canaima, and Yapacana National Parks with over 54,000 acres of deforestation. MAAP (Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project) generated the report using extremely high resolution satellite imaging and confirming the findings with other sources.

 An interesting item in the article was the report by NGO, Fundaredes, presented a year ago detailing ties between Venezuela government officials and Colombia guerilla leaders. Two days later Javier Tarazona, head of Fundaredes, was arrested along with two others. Tarazona is still in jail. In it’s latest report Fundaredes established that two helicopters, 400 armed men, and 30 bulldozers are part of the criminal machinery of the Colombia guerillas.

 Three other sources including Armando.info (one of our favorites due to their investigative reporting that exposed the Axex Saab- Nicolas Maduro connections in Nico’s fraudulent CLAP government food program) identified 42 active illegal runways tied to the groups using them for smuggling minerals and drugs.

 In 2018 a Mongabay team visited Caura National Park to check on the effect of Nicolas Maduro’s “Mining Arc”, reputed to be responsible for environmental devastation despite the regime’s claims they were actively protecting the area. They found that the supposedly protected national parks existed only on paper. There wasn’t a single park ranger, environmental monitoring office, or park headquarters. The area is also losing approximately 11,100 acres of forest a year due to agriculture in addition to the losses from mining and paramilitary/ trafficking operations. 

 Although never known as being particularly “environmentally friendly”, from the time Hugo Chavez took power until 2015 the average forest loss was 106, 915 acres per year. After Maduro’s declaration of the “Mining Arc” deforestation more than doubled to 220,821 acres per year (and we haven’t even talked about the poisoning of the rivers and the devastation of an entire way of life for the indigenous peoples).

 There is also concern about a “malaria time bomb”. Due to a rapid rise in malaria cases three NGOs began a joint action in the area in 2017. Infections were reduced from 500,000 in 2017 to under 150,000 in 2020. The Maduro regime has chosen to not participate in the effort and it’s feared that if the NGOs leave cases will skyrocket due to the increased activities and deforestation.

 Then we have World Politics Review telling us that in 2017, after a particularly harsh crackdown by Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela (over 140 protesters killed and thousands wounded) 12 countries formed The Lima Group to respond to Maduro and to push for transition to democracy in Venezuela. The ability of authoritarian governments to outlast democratic ones will be a central challenge for any organization built around the same democratic premises as The Lima Group… Maduro is still there. Latin America should be looking to learn from The Lima Group’s failure. They need a way to punish countries like Venezuela. Strongly worded statements and slow actions only give dictators like Nicolas Maduro space to double down on repression and entrench their rule.

 And we have Reuters telling us that the new president of the Andean Community (of nations), Peru President, Pedro Castillo, is pressing for Venezuela and Chile to rejoin the group as well as Argentina, who never joined. Now that Ecuador is the only country not run by a socialist/ Marxist they’re looking to expand the bloc.

 Then we have Hart Energy reporting that Venezuela Oil Minister, Tareck El Aissami, says restoring Chevron (US oil major) operations in Venezuela depends on the US. In May the US Treasury Department renewed Chevron’s operations license in Venezuela but it’s restricted. No oil exports with joint ventures with PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) are allowed. Without this license Chevron can’t participate in oil for debt swaps with PDVSA (the same problem Conoco Phillips has in collecting it’s $8.5 billion in debt by PDVSA). It’s worth remembering that the US Treasury Department granted licenses to Eni (Italy) and Repsol (Spain) so they could do oil for debt swaps with PDVSA and PDVSA backed out after one shipment to Europe. They’re not interested in reducing their debt… they want money.

 Then we had this headline from Epoch Times, “China Busts US Sanctions On Venezuela And US Says Nothing” It sounded intriguing but the article required a subscription (I’m not really interested in a subscription to Epoch Times) so that’s all I’ve got…but we all know this. Just as we know Joe Biden will do nothing.

 Then we have Daily Mail telling us that after the Venezuela migration slowed due to the pandemic, and at it’s height approximately 150,000 Venezuelans actually returned to Venezuela, the outward march is on the rise with 753,000 Venezuelans leaving since November, 2021…hence the new total of 6.81 million migrants having fled the Maduro regime’s 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism.

 And we have Rio Times reporting that the Venezuela Navy is moving forward with creating a squadron of combat boats. I hope they perform better than that Venezuela naval vessel that sent itself to the bottom in an ill-fated attempt to ram a cruise liner.

 Then we have Iran Front Page reporting that a former director with Iran’s Oil Ministry says if Europe can’t reach an agreement with Iran and Venezuela Europeans will have to go through a frigid winter. He failed to mention that the Europeans already had a deal with Venezuela and the Chavistas running PDVSA backed out of it. (Just like we told you they would) Just so you know, the US has all the oil and gas Europe needs (not to mention the US) if the “Green New Deal” types in Europe and the US would allow it… but they won’t. Better “Put another log on the fire”…

 And we have Merco Press telling us that pensioners and teachers took to the streets in Caracas (again) to demand payments of overdue adjustments and bonuses. They are also protesting for a “living wage” (remember, the minimum wage in Venezuela is currently at under $14 a month and falling) as the Maduro regime and ONAPRE (government budget office) has reduced the income and benefits of public workers and retirees (through some creative regulation and accounting gimmicks) by between 40% – 70%. We told you…this isn’t going away.

 Then we have Rio Times telling us that Nicola Maduro is inviting (again) investors from Latin America and around the world to invest in Venezuela’s agricultural sector. (He already did a deal with Iran allowing them use of thousands (millions?) of acres of land in Venezuela for agricultural purposes…for which the Venezuelan people will get nothing) He assured that Venezuela offers very favorable conditions for agricultural production and has millions of hectares available. ” Venezuela will be in the world center of food production.” Then he addressed the private sector in Venezuela. ” We will pave the way for Venezuela to become an export power for goods, services, and food.” He cited his international tour (in June) and the international interest in Venezuela. (Remember all those “historic, strategic agreements? Which, by the way, are meaningless) He didn’t mention that the only thing standing in the way  is Chavismo (Madurismo)

 We also have Rio Times telling us that Maduro announced the creation of a $159 million fund to restore the country’s collapsed transit system (collapsed by 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism). He didn’t mention where the money would come from for this fund.

 Then we have a statement from the US Foreign Affairs Committee by the lead Republican on the committee. It calls out the US State Department for it’s failure to divulge the list of Americans wrongfully detained in Venezuela. Could it be that they don’t want to draw attention to the fact that there are more American political prisoners now than before two State Department visits to Caracas and sanctions relief by the Biden administration?

More tomorrow….


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