Environment

Nicolás Maduro

Given the fact that Latin America accounts for 40% of Earth’s biodiversity and 25% of the Earth’s forests, a path dependence link was created, which linked resource extraction and export with development. Leftist governments have defended the model of extraction as being a necessary stage of development in order to move towards a more advanced economy and overcome the economic failures caused by previous neoliberal governments in the late 20th century..

Progressive Extractivism

Given the fact that Latin America accounts for 40% of Earth’s biodiversity and 25% of the Earth’s forests, a path dependence link was created, which linked resource extraction and export with development. Leftist governments have defended the model of extraction as being a necessary stage of development in order to move towards a more advanced economy and overcome the economic failures caused by previous neoliberal governments

This theory was implemented in Venezuela, when Chávez’s government nationalised many mining companies. The government would then get into agreements with countries such as China, allowing them to exploit their mines in exchange for money. This money together with oil revenues were then used to finance the Misiones Bolivarianas programme of Chávez. Maduro then continued with this policy. The current leader made even more agreements with the Asian country, where new areas were agreed for extractivism to be conducted. For example, heavy mineral exploitation took place in Sierra Imataca. Extractivism not only shows how the environment in Venezuela is subject to political campaign strategies but also the lives of people are in danger. What about the protection of indigenous communities? People that live in these mining areas are completely exposed and intruded without their consent.

Transparency exists in Maduro’s vocabulary?

Transparency no longer exists within Maduro’s government’s environmental and social indices. The lack of annual and long-term statistics prevents any comparisons with the past and makes it very difficult to determine whether the environmental situation is good or bad. Regarding Venezuela’s National Institute of Statistics, the Environmental section displays figures that have not been updated since 2011. 

Berta Pereda Asencio

Research & Analysis Writer