Statement by SOSOrinoco on the United States’ decision to grant a 6-month OFAC license to Minerven CAPublished: Oct 23, 2023 Reading time: 2 minutes
This decision is going to boost a criminal bonanza and allow the Nicolas Maduro regime to accelerate the plundering of Venezuelan Amazonia.
SOSOrinoco states in 7 points of its statement why granting a 6-month license to Minerven CA was not appropriate:
1- Long before sanctions were in place, the illegal Arco Minero decree introduced and promoted a 'business model' that is chaotic, violent and criminal, disregarding human rights and environmental regulations, which scared away large international mining companies. All this is widely documented by the OECD, the UNHCR Fact Finding Mission to Venezuela and SOSOrinoco.
2- This 'business model' directly benefits Nicolas Maduro and his associates: Cilia Flores, Delcy Rodriguez, Tareck El Aissami, Diosdado Cabello and many officers of the Bolivarian Armed Forces, such as General Carlos Osorio, president of Corporación Venezolana de Minería, that has a monopoly on the fuel supply for all mines in the Arco Minero and illegal mines in all Protected Areas in southern Venezuela.
3- Venezuela's illegitimate Vice President, Delcy Rodriguez, has been trying for years to partner with international mining companies to exploit her own mines. To achieve this, the Vice President needs sanctions to be lifted so that these companies can operate in Venezuela.
4- With the lifting of sanctions, the Maduro regime has new incentives to further deepen the Arco Minero policy because via Minerven CA it will be able to "legally" launder more “Blood Gold”: Maduro and his group of beneficiaries (military, senior political figures, and financiers of the regime) will now continue trafficking, but openly.
5- The governments of the US, Canada, UK, and serious gold refiners have no way of overseeing, nor knowing what is going on inside Minerven CA. The regime will use Minerven CA as a funnel to channel all the gold illegally and unsustainably mined in Protected Areas (using illegal mercury and violating human and environmental rights).
6- Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is naive to think that lifting sanctions is going to reduce unsustainable mining and smuggling of “Blood Gold” and other minerals.
7- It is important to look at Guyana to understand that ecocide, illegal and destructive mining practices allowed by that government in the disputed but highly biodiverse Essequibo, occurs even in countries without sanctions.
CONCLUSION: By lifting the sanction on Venezuelan gold, the United States becomes a co-participant in the looting of the Venezuelan Amazon and chooses to ignore an ecocide that now becomes unstoppable, will be exploited by all transnational criminal groups in the region and will be impossible to hide.