More than a fortnight has passed and the oil spill that occurred in Falcon State has become the second largest in the world.
The malpractice of Nicolás Maduro’s regime caused the El Palito refinery of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) to spill the equivalent of 20,000 barrels of hydrocarbons, threatening natural parks, marine ecosystems and hundreds of species of flora and fauna in coral reefs and mangroves.
On July 31st, the Remote Sensing Laboratory of the Simón Bolívar University detected via satellite and reported a hydrocarbon slick in Golfo Triste, which is near the States of Falcón and Carabobo.
The Venezuelan de facto government did not issue an alert for this situation. Two days later, the stain reached the coast of Falcón State and covered about 7 kilometers with hydrocarbons.
Experts explained that the main reason was rust damage suffered by the El Palito refinery due to lack of maintenance.
The Simón Bolívar University Laboratory estimates that the amount of oil spilled is between 10,000 and 40,000 barrels. They added that this amount of chemicals has been in the sea since July 19th.
Photographer and activist Isaías Landaeta reported that the accident at the oil refinery has affected several areas of the coast: Chichiriviche, Morrocoy National Park, Puerto Cabello, Tucacas, Boca de Aroa, even the Cuare wildlife refuge.
Civil society works with its nails to save the coasts
As a response to the ecocide, neither the Nicolás Maduro regime nor the PDVSA authorities have carried out any kind of clean-up of the affected areas.
Landaeta reported that organized civil society, non-governmental organizations, foundations, boatmen and fishermen’s associations, Falcón service providers, Inparques, the navy and volunteers, are the ones who have stood up and proposed to clean up the coasts despite not having the proper implements for this activity.
Gloves, plastic bags, metal rakes, shovels, masks, mesh for sifting sand, foam rubber and fine rope are some of the tools they use to try to fix the disaster at the oil refinery.
“For now, the only solution has been to clean up the beaches manually by removing the oil that reaches the coast. Given that during the day the oil is concentrated on the coast but at night, when the tide rises, that is when it travels to Morrocoy National Park,” explained Landaeta.
The regime tries to hide its error
No representative of PDVSA or the regime has issued any communication in the face of the ecocide, on the contrary they try to hide the fact and prevent experts from taking control of the situation.
The president of the National Institute of Parks, Josué Lorca, shared a video with an aerial shot of an area of Morrocoy National Park where he shows as if the area had already been cleaned up in a matter of days. However, the Blue Environmentalist Foundation released a video made the same day and shows how the mangroves continue to be affected.
Landaeta explained that the situation with Inparques and the Armed Forces is irregular because there are days when they do not allow individuals to pass into Morrocoy National Park. This prevents the help of volunteers and biologists to measure the environmental impact and find a solution to the tragedy.
“We are completely blind to this situation,” he said.
Complaints against the regime
The Legitimate Government revealed and urged Maduro’s regime to offer explanations about the oil spill. The Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights and Attention to Victims, Humberto Prado, denounced the fact to the international community and public opinion and reiterated that the usurpers are violating the environmental rights of Venezuelans.
Julio Borges, Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, said that this oil spill has become an environmental tragedy, which adds to what we already see in the Arco Minero with the illegal exploitation of gold.
For its part, the Ad Hoc Board of PDVSA issued a communiqué stating that in the last 18 years the dictatorship has broken established principles and norms, which has led to the loss of production capacity, deterioration and collapse of the oil company, resulting in environmental disasters.
While the Technical Expert of the Environmental Commission of the NA and expert in environmental sanitation of the oil industry, Dayse Regardiz, explained that this type of accident can be avoided, but that PDVSA is in the obligation to attend to the damages it generated. “This was a failure in the entire command structure,” she insisted.
Likewise, the president of the Venezuelan Society of Ecology, Velisa Morón, thanked the volunteers for their help but insisted on the need to carry out a diagnosis in order to know the scope of the spill, collect samples and see the depths of the areas to detect which are the most affected areas.
Through its social networks, the Venezuelan Society of Ecology, established its position and published a statement in which they expressed their concern because none of the specialists have had access to the affected areas or the data recorded by the culprits of this fact. They also warned that this type of spill not only affects fauna and flora but could also affect humans.
The famous Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, raised the complaints at an international level. She warned about this fact that is happening on the Venezuelan coast and highlighted the little official information about it.