Unreserved Devastation

Photo: Nicolás Maduro

On World Environment Day, Nicolás honors nature by expanding the ecocide that started with the Orinoco Mining Arc. That’s why he spoke of the “immense wealth Venezuela has” and of the potential to present estimates in euros that he got from mineral certifications in the country: gold, bauxite, iron, phosphate, feldspar and diamond, calibrating our level of reserves with each item and calculating 1.2 trillion euros as the total amount that could be derived from exploitation.

Nicolás estimates investments for over 7 billion euros for the National Mining Plan 2019-2025, which will allegedly bring revenue for over 30 billion euros, but of course, the rotatory fund for ecological mining development will be in bolivars.

Yesterday, Las Bendiciones coltan extraction plant started working in Bolivar State, coordinated by the Venezuelan Mining Corporation, the Anonymous Military Company of Mining, Oil and Gas and the Minverca Corporation. He had the nerve to claim that coltan is being exploited with “friendly technology that doesn’t require the use of chemical additives.” This will be unreserved devastation.

Training the ELN

Bloomberg published the statements of Colombian general Luis Navarro, who claims that Venezuelan soldiers who support Nicolás have trained members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) to use rockets: “We have the clear evidence and the necessary intelligence to say that the ELN is considered a part of the Maduro regime’s revolution,” said general Navarro. Colombian intelligence services don’t know if the ELN already obtained its own rocket launchers and they also ignore whether their training was organized by a faction within the Venezuelan Army or approved by the ruling clique in Caracas, because the ELN received training in secret and not in military bases. The article says that “the Colombian Army didn’t provide documents or pictures that would definitively prove its claim.”

Unbridled ambition

Manuel Cristopher Figuera, former chief of the Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence (SEBIN), said that the April 30th action failed “due to the unbridled ambition” of Supreme Tribunal justice Maikel Moreno, “and the selfishness of the frontmen involved in that conspiracy,” says Sebastiana Barráez for Infobae. Figuera says that Cuban intelligence services “must have told [Maduro] all the truth [about April 30th]” and added that Nicolás’s first security ring is made up of Cubas. Figuera also said that Nicolás doesn’t rule the country and that he must go “without trauma and with its safety guaranteed,” offering himself to give him protection. He also recognized that he met with CIA authorities with Nicolás’s approval, and that he’s investigated serious corruption cases involving Tareck El Aissami, Calixto Ortega, Simón Zerpa and Cilia Flores’s sons.

Mike’s truths

U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo said that Nicolás will leave, but couldn’t say when: “You should know, [Maduro] is mostly surrounded by Cubans. He doesn’t trust Venezuelans. I don’t blame him. He shouldn’t. They were all plotting against him. Sadly, they were all plotting for themselves,” said Pompeo in the audio of a private meeting held with Jewish leaders last week, which The Washington Post had access to. He also talks about the difficulties of keeping the Venezuelan opposition united, predicting that, once Nicolás leaves power, over 40 opposition leaders will present their candidacy to replace him, and insisting that “they’re still divided about how to face the regime.” Pompeo also regretted that the April 30th military uprising failed because some chavista cronies backed down at the last minute. Of course, they were plotting for themselves.

The reaction

Diosdado Cabello said that Mike Pompeo was “a big fool” for failing to unite the Venezuelan opposition: “If Pompeo had believed less in the opposition, he wouldn’t get these surprises,” and decided to give him a tip because a regime can’t be toppled with tweets and retweets. Strangely, Diosdado said: “We want to talk, even with you,” after calling him a fool, it would be remiss of Pompeo to refuse. Although he boasted about the TSJ ruling against website La Patilla, the best part of his show took place during a musical interlude, when the production team left the microphones open and we could hear the testimony of a loyalist talking about the state of agriculture: “Well, look, we’re too low (…) we didn’t get the supplies. Things are tough, you hear? We didn’t get the full batch of seeds.”

Other movements on the board

  • Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping called this Wednesday for political dialogue to fix the Venezuelan crisis and rejected a potential military intervention.
  • After the takeover of Monómeros Colombo-Venezolanos, the fertilizer company owned by Pequiven, several actions have been taken to request the suspension of U.S. sanctions, which would allow the company to increase its commercial and financial operations.
  • Deputy Wilmer Azuaje showed evidence of El Junquito massacre that took place in January, 2018, where Óscar Pérez and his peers were murdered. The report was submitted to OAS chief Luis Almagro.
  • Jorge Arreaza criticized the “U.S. blockade against Cuba, with their unilateral and illegal coercive measures, they’ve failed for decades and in this new phase, they’ll meet the same fate.” Julio Borges replied: “We request these new sanctions against Cuba because they’re holding Venezuela ransom through the regime you’re a part of. We’ll keep on until our country is free from the Castros and you, their puppets.”
  • The Lima Group will meet today in Guatemala after its representatives held a meeting with members of the International Contact Group.

Yesterday marked the start of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, with the presence of 300 war veterans and heads of state from 16 countries. The 16 countries signed a statement where they promised to work so that “the sacrifices of the past aren’t in vain and are never forgotten,” and restated their commitment with “democracy, tolerance and the Rule of Law” and their support for the international organizations that defend them. They also put up the famous 1940 speech of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, known as “We’ll fight on the beaches” and his successor, Theresa May, read a letter from English captain Norman Skinner to his wife Gladyz, found in his jacket after he died during the landing. Out of more than 150,000 soldiers who stepped on French soil on June 6th, over 10,000 died, were wounded or disappeared. The decision to invade Normandy was one of the riskiest moves carried out by the allies. Eleven months later, Nazi Germany was defeated, not before killing at least 75,000 allied soldiers.

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