Let’s get right to it….Rio Times tells us that OEP (Observatory of Political Ecology) released it’s annual report stating that Venezuela experienced 86 oil spills in 2022. According to OEP these spills severely impact marine and terrestrial ecosystems and they’re not the only ones saying this.
There have been frequent reports of spills in recent years and various news outlets around the world have had coverage of the eco-disaster occurring under the Maduro regime and 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism.
Consistent with it’s policy, the regime has not officially (or unofficially) released data regarding the quantity of spilled barrels, the extent of the affected areas, or the countermeasures implemented to mitigate the environmental damage post-incident. OEP underscored the implications to fishermen, agricultural producers, and peasant communities.
The report further disclosed that in 2022, alongside their constant oil spills, there were 10 fires and/or explosions at PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) facilities.Additionally they reported on other industrial accidents, such as in Bolivar state, involving the dispersion of aluminum oxide, known to cause bodily harm and lung damage.
Their conclusion is that the pattern of negligence by Nicolas Maduro and the Chavistas in addressing these socio-environmental emergencies and the resulting harm to local populations has been overlooked.
Then we have BNN Bloomberg reporting that huge lines have reappeared outside Venezuela gasoline stations (as if they ever really went away) as the oil industry rations fuel in response to technical failures at refineries.
Only two of the nation’s five refineries are partly operational and supplying fuel to the country. The El Palito refinery is expected to restart fuel-making plants after stopping production of high quality gasoline in 2012. (Remember the article on low quality gasoline being blamed for car fires in Venezuela from a couple of weeks ago?)
Antonio Garcia, a bus driver, complained of waiting in a line five blocks long causing him to lose a day of work, which is a day of lost income. “This is very tiresome.”
This comes as the Maduro regime continues to ship gasoline to Cuba (for free). What happened to the OPEC charter requiring member nations to guarantee domestic supply before exporting?
And we have Amnesty International telling us that Carlos Debiais, a Venezuelan photographer, unfairly detained since November 12, 2021, has been released contingent on him reporting to the court every 60 days.
He had been issued a release warrant in April,2022, which prison officials refused to execute. This is a common practice by Chavismo.
On several occasions during his detention his fate and whereabouts were unknown. No reason was given for his release. It’s doubtful we’ll hear much from him as it would land him right back in jail.
Then we have La Prensa Latina with the headline “Despite 1st Quarter Reversal, Optimism Remains About Venezuela’s Economy”…Talk about a misleading headline…
The director of Ecoanalytica, a Caracas-based economic and financial consulting firm, said he is forecasting improvement in the 2nd quarter BUT he warned that Venezuela’s economy remains fragile and that the situation will not improve until there is a resolution to the political deadlock between the government and the opposition, who have not held talks since last November. (And what might the catalyst be for resuming negotiations?)
Doesn’t sound very optimistic to me although Conindustria did say that 56% of Venezuelan manufacturers are optimistic about a turnaround within 12 months…but no reason was given why they feel this way.
And we have Law 360 reporting that The Special Master overseeing an impending auction of Citgo shares to satisfy some of Venezuela’s creditors wants a Federal Judge to “kick-start” the sale process in late September, accusing the regime (owners of Citgo) of voicing objections that “…are all recycled and have long been addressed by the court”.
In other words, “Can we please just get on with it?”
Then we have Mehr News telling us that Iranian President Raisi and Venezuelan President (dictator) Nicolas Maduro signed 19 cooperation agreements and MOUs (Memorandum Of Understanding) to increase bilateral trade to $20 billion.
No mention was made of how much trade has increased between the two countries since the June, 2022 signing of those “20 year historic, strategic agreements”.
These guys are nothing if not prolific when it comes to meaningless agreements and MOUs. There will surely be more when Raisi visits Cuba and Nicaragua following his visit to Venezuela.
And we have Reuters reporting that Venezuelan asylum applications surged 186% in 2022 to 264,000, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
This is no great surprise due to the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, however, the global annual increase was only 21% for 2022.
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