The National Assembly condemned and rejected the lack of response and indifference of those who today usurp power, regarding the damages caused by the oil spills, in the Eastern Coast of Maracaibo Lake, as well as in the coasts of Carabobo and Falcón States. Therefore, they demand that the oil authorities must compensate the affected inhabitants and carry out the environmental clean-up for the damage caused to the ecosystem of those regions of the country.
This is what emerges from the debate on the deplorable condition of the country’s oil industry and its damaging effects on Venezuelan ecosystems, held during the ordinary online session held this Tuesday, August 4th.
The debate was initiated by Héctor Vargas, deputy for the State of Zulia, who pointed out that never since the Zumaque 1 well in the Mene Grande Field and Pozo Barrozo in Cabimas that was the blowout that probably made Venezuela known as an oil country on December 14th, 1922.
“Today this industry has been lost. The oil spill that runs along the entire width of the Eastern Coast of the Lake is an ecocide and the great pollution of the environment is a result of the abandonment, corruption and lack of maintenance of the oil industry. The crude oil has reached the homes of the inhabitants of Cabimas and Ciudad Ojeda”.
He added that all sectors of Cabimas are flooded with oil, such as the Union H highway, Chile, the Los Postes Negros neighborhood. “It is irresponsible the way the oil industry has been managed by this regime in recent years. It is unjust that Cabimas has given so much and what it has received is misery and torment.”
Congressman Vargas presented a video, which shows the degraded conditions left by the oil spill in the homes of Cabimas’ residents after a torrential downpour. The images show a woman named Yuleyma Sánchez, who showed the conditions in which her home was left, how her furniture, belongings, floor and walls were damaged by the oil spill, as well as the strong smell of oil that affects the respiratory tract.
In this sense, Congressman Vargas demanded that the representatives of Petróleos de Venezuela and the entities involved take responsibility for the damages caused to the homes of the inhabitants of Cabimas affected by this oil spill.
The president of the Permanent Commission of Environment and Natural Resources, María Gabriela Hernández, representative of Monagas State, in her speech said that the Venezuelan oil industry was the fifth most successful and productive company in the world, but that this regime destroyed it when in 2003 it fired more than 22,000 workers who made the core of the company with more than 100 years of experience and training.
She stressed that being in that range among the top 5 in the world required an exhaustive rigor in the care of nature, air, water and soil, so that the oil industry’s environmental accidents were jealously avoided. “The loss of that experience, disinvestment and corruption have caused the most slipshod and treacherous environmental accidents in all our history as an oil producing country.”
She explained that, in inexperienced and desperate attempts to activate the El Palito refinery, located in Puerto Cabello in the state of Carabobo, the maintenance of the oxidation pits or refining residues was neglected, they filled up and with the rains overflowed into the sea on the northern coast, a source of natural life, tourism and fishing resources in the area,.
“As if the illegal constructions denounced inside Morrocoy National Park and inside the fauna refuges were not enough, now another spill of residues of El Palito Refinery, that in the last years, threaten the environs of our Morrocoy National Park”.
She also pointed out that in the eastern zone of the lake in Cabimas and Ciudad Ojeda it is different, because it suffers from the phenomenon of subsidence, which is the variation in gravity or sinking caused by the extraction of oil from the underground.
She added that Cabimas and Ciudad Ojeda are seeping in water from the lake because of the decrease in its level. On the other hand, Lake Maracaibo in its depths is a swarm of circulation pipes that have not received maintenance for many years, and continuously are spilling oil, which by gravity enter Cabimas and Ciudad Ojeda.
Congresswoman Hernandez expressed that this phenomenon of subsidence, according to the experience of Venezuelan oil companies, is one of the greatest environmental liabilities of the oil industry affecting Zulia.
“In the free, democratic and modern Venezuela that we Venezuelans desire, inserted in the objectives of sustainable development and respect for life and nature, we Venezuelans must ensure that crimes against our natural resources and the lives of Venezuelans are righted. A National Emergency Government is urgently needed,” concluded the Venezuelan parliamentarian.
Meanwhile, Carabobo State deputy Deyalitza Aray denounced that the oil spill on the coast of Carabobo and Falcón state is the result of the overflow of the oxidation lagoon of El Palito refinery, causing considerable damage to the ecosystem which affected four kilometers of the beaches of Golfo Triste that were bathed by the crude oil.
She indicated that last week with the arrival of the storm Gonzalo and its passage through the Venezuelan coast the oxidation lagoon of the El Palito refinery overflowed, a lagoon that has not been maintained for some time.
“The entire pumping and drainage system to control the levels of the lagoon stopped working and every time there is a rain of sizeable magnitude, the coasts of Carabobo and Falcón state will be affected by these oil spills. Now we have to hope that the representatives of the usurpation will deign to see the damage and take measures to correct this disaster that affects the ecosystem in the area and its inhabitants.”
She assured that the regime does not care about the deterioration of the environment and such important areas as the Golfo Triste and Morrocoy National Park, whose inhabitants denounce that the oil waste reached the beaches.
“The usurping regime does not care about the environmental pollution, nor about the risk that the communities that live there are suffering, that already are under a complex humanitarian crisis worsened by the pandemic, and that they survive of fishing and are now mutilated by the oil spilled all over their beaches in Golfo Triste and Morrocoy National Park”.
She condemned the abandonment and destruction of the oil industry and insisted that the only way to recover the country is through the establishment of a National Emergency Government that will definitively free Venezuela and “place us on the path of development and quality of life that all Venezuelans deserve.”
Finally, congressman Tobías Bolívar said that the Venezuelan oil industry is going through the worst crisis in its history due to the lack of qualified personnel, and the oxidation and degradation of equipment in the areas of operations related to the exploitation, transport and refining of hydrocarbons show the state of collapse in the oil areas, so that spills are the order of the day.
“The accumulation of waste directly affects the soil, altering its original substrate. The effects produced by oil spills on surface water produce a decrease in the oxygen content and a high salinity. Added to this serious problem is the gas associated with oil exploitation and its effects on the air, which when they are burned these gases containing carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfuric acid, they contaminate extensive areas, especially in the States of Monagas, Anzoátegui and Zulia”.
He indicated that this disaster in the oil industry contributes to the ecological devastation in our country and shows that the tyranny cares little for the population that lives around the compromised areas.
“The situation in the oil industry has all the alarms on. It is necessary that we act promptly, the way out of this situation is in the proposal of the Plan País, so it is urgent to have a National Emergency Government that institutionalizes the industry under the framework of a new Organic Law of Hydrocarbons,” he concluded.