The El Palito Spill Spreads

The leak in El Palito continues contaminating the sea, the scientific community hasn’t seen a response by PDVSA; The regime says Colombia wants to invade us; Juan Guaidó insists on unity

An ecocide in progress

Photo: EcopolíticaVenezuela

  • There was a new spill in El Palito: the residue pond is full and the experts say that everytime it rains, the pond overflows, bringing oil to the sea and accumulating one spill after the other. Up to 40,000 barrels of oil have been spilled into the coasts of Falcón and Carabobo states, causing an ecocide that could be irreversible with how often the spills are happening. There has been no damage control. 
  • A new mechanical failure in the catalytic cracking plant paralyzed the production of gas and cooking gas at El Palito refinery, in Carabobo, that had been reactivated barely a week ago. The gas inventory for distribution will be enough for a few days only. 
  • Nicolás’s vice president, Delcy Rodríguez, announced that a new week of flexibilization will begin on Monday, August 24th, but we’ll go back to the three level system. The first level is for municipalities on the border in states like Zulia, Táchira, Bolívar and Apure, that will stay in radical quarantine. He called those municipalities “the sanitary barrier to protect us”; the second level is a partial flexibilization for Caracas, Miranda, Bolívar and Vargas, where ten sectors of the economy will reactivate at different hours each day. The rest of the country will get broad flexibilization, for 14 sectors of the economy. “There shouldn’t be a contradiction between quarantine and production,” said Delcy. But there is, when they impose controls with little sanitary criteria and punishment on companies and stores. 
  • She also announced 607 new cases of coronavirus, for a total of 39,564 cases they’ve admitted to. According to their figures, six people died, for a total of 329 deaths. Last week, they registered 6,349 new cases, and it’s curious how there’s a decrease in the number of new daily cases, since the week before last, we had the highest figures. It miraculously descended, without an explanation. Unions and NGOs of the healthcare sector reported about six new deaths in the last two days. 86 deaths of health workers represent 27% of the total if they’re compared to the deaths they’ve admitted to. These figures, as you can see, are just suspicious. 
  • On Sunday, Juan Guaidó announced building a new route and unity pact to reject the call for “elections” in December. He insisted that the matter needs political parties and all sectors: “The first point in this pact must be rejecting the fraud that the dictatorship plans to stage. Second, call the country to express their will. Third, a schedule for national and international mobilization,” he said. Guaidó reported that he called Gerardo Blyde to oversee the political sector, UCAB ‘s Francisco José Virtuoso for the civil society, Carlos Prosperi, for the leadership in exile, Gustavo Tarre for coordinating with legitimate authorities and for intellectuals Thais Peñalver, who rejected the proposal for personal reasons. 
  • Henrique Capriles Radonski answered Juan Guaidó’s call and presented his key points: listening to the people (he didn’t specify how); using plans that don’t mean more sacrifice for poor Venezuelans (even though the greatest sacrifices don’t depend on the opposition’s management); using the resources abroad with common sense and transparency. “Voting or not voting is a false dilemma, the true dilemma is whether to fight or not,” is the sentence that best summarizes the fourth point, that should have been answered with the call for a new plan. Lastly, he highlighted that there’s nothing more powerful than telling the truth, ruling out any new non-binding consultation. He assured that being united can work, only if it’s in service of the people. 
  • On Friday, a Cabimas (Zulia state) worker of Guacamaya TV, Andrés Eloy Nieves Zacarías, and the son of the owner of the channel, Víctor Torres, were murdered. Espacio Público points at FAES officers as culprits and, on Sunday, the Public Ministry opened an investigation on this alleged extrajudicial execution, said on Twitter the ANC-imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab. He specified that the appointed prosecutors will identify witnesses, run ballistics, etc., but he didn;’t mention that the suspects would be detained, a task that’s often the first on the list when they’re investigating the opposition for minor transgressions.
  • The president of the CNE imposed by the TSJ, Indira Alfonzo, said that because of the pandemic, the voting process could be extended for over a day (something unheard of in Venezuelan elections). Alonzo said that they haven’t considered suspending the “election” because of the pandemic and she said many other things, still not showing the equipment or software that will be used in the process. 
  • The commander of the Army’s Strategic Operation Command, CEOFANB, Remigio Ceballos, assured on Twitter that Colombia is preparing an aggression against Venezuela. He added that since Colombia can’t contain the spread of coronavirus, “it has become an imminent threat for Venezuela.” 
  • Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned that the Belarusian opposition is following a similar script of what has already happened in Venezuela or in Ukraine to overthrow dictator Alexander Lukashenko. Lavrov thinks that mediation offers aren’t trustworthy and take a look at this statement, one you’ve never heard before: “The Belarusian people will decide themselves how to end this situation.” The opposition is still on the street, protesting, despite the prohibition by the government, the threats by the Defense Ministry (and Lukashenko himself), and the efforts by the propaganda system, insisting on convincing people that the amount of protesters is decreasing. Citizens demand a new election, an option that Lukashenko has ruled out, despite a large portion of the international community not recognizing the results. Josep Borrell assured that even though countries in the EU don’t recognize Nicolás or Lukashenko, they must deal with them to some degree, because they control power “despite not recognizing their democratic legitimacy”. 
  • There have been over 23.3 million COVID-19 cases and 807,134 deaths in the world, according to research by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. remains the country with the worst figures, with 5.7 million cases and over 176,774 deaths. Brazil follows with 3.6 million cases and 114,744 deaths. Peru has had 585,236 cases and 27,453 deaths. Mexico has had over 556,000 cases and 60,250 deaths, Colombia has had over 533,000 cases and almost 17,000 deaths and Chile has had 397,665 cases and 10,852 deaths.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.