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Venezuela’s officially recognized president Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday called on the world to take care of Mother Earth, claiming that the only way to achieve balance is through ecosocialism. The call comes on World Environment Day, according to Prensa Latina.
Ecosocialists argue that the only surefire way to arrest climate change is to give capitalism the old heave-ho, forgoing profits in exchange for more earth-friendly decision making.
Venezuela, which is suffering the worst humanitarian crisis in history apart from in Yemen, relies on crude oil for 98% of its export revenues. Venezuela also has a booming mining industry, including bauxite, coltan, coal, gold, and iron ore—at least they did prior to US sanctions.
Maduro opened up the Orinoco Mining Belt to mining a few years ago—mostly unregulated—an act that raised just a handful of eyebrows that would have typically decried the destructive nature of the processes, including deforestation and mercury poisoning.
The Orinoco Arc covers 43,000 square miles and covers an eighth of Venezuela’s total land.
Marshall Billingslea, assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the US Treasury Department, accused Maduro of turning “to wholesale, rampant destruction of the environment through strip mining on a massive scale of gold and other precious metals in the Orinoco Belt.”
The Venezuelan government also made a statement on Earth Day in April in a bid to bring awareness to climate concerns, specifically overpopulation, the production of pollution, and the conservation of biodiversity, according to Presna Latina. For its part, Venezuela announced it would plant an unspecified number of trees and release two endangered species.
Venezuela pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030 at Paris COP21, contingent on financial donations and access to technology from wealthier nations.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.