Following the lead of Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro announced plans for the Arco Minero del Orinoco or the Orinco Mining Belt. According to Phys.org, the area is a section of land that crosses tropical forests abundant with plant life, water and minerals (such as coltan, gold, diamonds, and bauxite) which includes the Sierra de Imataca in the east and the centrally located El Caura, as well as the Orinoco and Caroní river basins.
During 2016, Maduro granted mining concessions to a number of foreign mining companies from China, Russia, Canada, South Africa, the Republic of Congo and Australia. Not more than a year later, the foreign mining companies were pushed out in favor of a Venezuelan mining company (CAMIMPEG) that has the full backing, if not is a wholey owned subsidiary, of the country’s military.
Venezuela’s military is well known to be involved in golld and diamond smuggling while working with Columbia’s remaining Communist insurgency group, ELN. The harmful impacts of the mining by CAMIMPEG has been described by one journalist as absolutely horrible. Some Venezuelan officials raised objections to the mining only to be blunted by the country’s supreme court.
Despite the environmental degredation and political corruption, environmentalists are remarkably silent. Its clear that if they were to openly object or condemn what is happening in Venezuela in some way, it would undermine the very ideology they back in the first place. Environmentalism is in the Marxist tradition and when it is exposed that a country following Leftist theories is rife with environmental destruction coupled with political corruption, it would undermine their contention that planned economies are better for the environment than capitalist ones.
Environmentalist’s silence about the environmental and moral destruction of Venezuela means they agree with the outcome (especially the human suffering and death). They are essentially complicit with the political and moral evils being perpetrated there on a daily if not hourly basis. Environmentalist’s silence speaks volumes of their true intentions and what they seek to have happen not just in Venezuela but to all of mankind.