martes, 30 de junio de 2009

La Geopolítica hemisférica del Brasil

Tomado de:

Brazil’s hemispheric geopolitics

The Hemisphere
The Federative Republic of Brazil used the occasion, nine years ago in 2000, to celebrate the historic 500th anniversary of its discovery which coincided with the start of the new millennium. But it was also the start of a thrust to demonstrate its greatness and to initiate a strategy for continental leadership.

The significant summit of Brazil, Russia, India, and China − the so-called the BRIC states − in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on June 16 seemed to be more show than substance. It is true that these states are the world’s four major emerging economies, constituting 15 per cent of the world’s $60.7 trillion economy. From a global point of view, however, Brazil, which pushed the hardest for the summit to be staged, seemed somewhat out of place.

The Federative Republic of Brazil is the only BRIC state with no nuclear weapons. Its economy, though strengthening, has grown more slowly than the other three in the past decade. It is, rather, an international platform on which Brazil hopes to gain global attention and acceptance for its aspiration to be regarded as the dominating power on the South American continent and in the Caribbean Basin. Unquestioningly, it will seek to use its new influence as a BRIC state to further enhance its regional influence and to utilise its growing economic clout and geopolitical reach.

The BRIC summit was a coming-of-age event that confirms Brazil’s most ambitious strategic initiative in its 500-year history. It is only the most recent manifestation of that country’s penchant for organisations and agreements. It inaugurated a series of summit meetings of South American presidents and played a leading role in the establishment of the União de Naçoes Sul-Americanas (Union of South American Nations). Back in 1978, it had launched the Tratado de Cooperação Amazonica (Treaty of Amazonian Cooperation) which emphasised its economic status and ecological roles and responsibilities. In 2008, it sought to establish the Conselho Sul-Americano de Defesa (South American Security Council). The effectiveness of these organisations is still to be measure.

The aspirations of this solitary, Portuguese-speaking state, however, have never overwhelmed its mainly Spanish-speaking neighbours on the South American continent. Brazil, nevertheless, has always liked to be considered the ‘colosso do Sul’ (the Colossus of the South). Its military and political élites imagined their huge country to be South America’s counterbalance to North America’s ‘colossus of the North’ − the United States of America. Its expanding economy has permitted it to increase military expenditure. Its armed forces are the largest and strongest on the continent.

The global environment has now changed dramatically. The colossus of the North has found itself embroiled in wars on two fronts – far away in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is also preoccupied with its most severe economic crisis for decades; and, further, it is too weak or unwilling to respond robustly to changing international relations – especially in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela, for example – in South America.

This international situation provided the opportunity for the ‘colosso do Sul’ to assert its ambitions. It was largely Brazil’s moderating role that helped to resolve the Andean security tangle that was precipitated by Colombia’s attack on a rebel camp in Ecuador that escalated when Venezuela menacingly mobilised a military task force on its border with Colombia in March 2008. Possibly, no other South American state possessed the influence and enjoyed prestige to command the compliance of the would-be belligerent states in such tense times.

It is against this strategic background that Brazil’s Minister of Defence Nelson Azevedo Jobim paid a brief visit to President Bharrat Jagdeo in Georgetown, in April 2008 as part of a series of meetings with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez in Caracas and Suriname’s Ronald Venetiaan. Jobim’s mission was to canvas the idea of the formation of the Conselho Sul-Americano de Defesa. As Jobim put it, the Conselho is meant to develop a defence policy; resolve international disputes on this continent without resort to extra-continental mediators; act collectively on peacekeeping missions; and combat organised crime.

Jobim had advised that the Conselho would aim at dealing with what he called “low intensity conflicts that may spread out of control.” But it will be a long time before an effective multilateral security organisation can be established among the fractious and mutually suspicious South America states. Even if that was done, it will take longer still to achieve a satisfactory level of operational coordination and integration of this continent’s armed forces to enable them to confront the serious security challenges. Most important, the continent’s two small states – Guyana and Suriname – must be assured that their special security concerns will be met in a continental security system dominated by huge armies such as those of Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.

In September that year, as if to reinforce Jobim’s message, Senator Heráclito Fortes led a delegation of the Comissão de Relações Exteriores e Defesa Nacional (Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Defence) of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil’s National Congress to meet the President. That delegation, comprising senators from various parties, performs a congressional oversight role.

The Brazilian strategic thrust, therefore, can be examined at several levels. At the national level, Brasília’s long-standing foreign policy objective is to maintain stability along its nearly 17,000 km border with ten neighbouring countries, especially along its sparsely-populated, heavily-forested, northern belt Amazonian boundaries. This, in turn, is influenced, at the continental level by security problems most likely to arise not so much from neighbouring states as from non-state organisations and transnational criminal cartels and gangs that pose threats of narcotics trafficking, gun-running, terrorism and piracy.

It is at the hemispheric level, that Brazil has flexed its military muscle more decidedly than ever. The Brazilian Army has made itself into the dominant contributor to the 10,000-member foreign military and police force – Mission des Nations Unies pour le Stabilisation en Haiti − better known by its acronym, MINUSTAH − mandated by the UN Security Council, which has been deployed in that country there since June 2004.

This operation came only four months after the constitutionally-elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide became the victim of a controversial regime change conspiracy that shoved aside the Caribbean Community’s initiatives which were aimed at finding peaceful means to resolve the crisis in that country. The fact is that thousands of foreign soldiers from an amazing array of mainly non-Caribbean states − Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Phillipines, Sri Lanka, United States and Uruguay − have been assembled to occupy a CARICOM state.

Brazil, evidently, is trying to announce its graduation as a state that has the capability to project its military and economic power in a regional theatre and which is trying hard to obtain a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. As defence Minister Jobim explained plainly, “It is Brazil’s duty to be in Haiti because Brazil is a major power.”

Haiti has become a test case for Brazilian diplomacy, military intervention and peace support operations. After more than five years, Brazil’s military involvement in Haiti has become an example of how a low intensity conflict could blunt the strategic ambitions of a would-be major power and tarnish a professional army’s performance, particularly in the relations of its soldiery with the Haitian citizenry. That no Caribbean Community soldier is on the ground must be one of the strangest anomalies of regional security and diplomacy.

Guyana has enjoyed cordial relations with Brazil for forty years since the 1969 Rupununi defence crisis. Brazil’s principled support for Guyana’s territorial integrity has contributed measurably to national security. Scores of Guyana Defence Force officers, including the current chief of staff, have been trained by the Brazilian Armed Forces; officers from the two forces meet periodically to exchange military intelligence and Brazilian naval ships occasionally visit Georgetown to boost defence relationships. No Guyanese President has ever failed to make the pilgrimage to Brasilia to preserve cordial diplomatic and economic relations.

Defence relations were strengthened in April last year with the visit of Brazil’s Minister of Defence Jobim. He reportedly reached an agreement with President Jagdeo, who is Minister of Defence of Guyana, for defence cooperation through which it is expected that Guyana Defence Force officers would undergo training at various Brazilian military institutions and that the Guyana will receive computers, generators, radio equipment, Global Positioning Systems, and other items. Brazil agreed, also, to assist the Defence Force to develop the jungle warfare training centre in the Essequibo.

Brazilian Ambassador to Guyana Arthur Meyer only last month announced that Guyana and Brazil are expected to sign an ‘Agreement of Cooperation on Defence Method’ that “covers a whole range of issues − cooperation and training of staff in military exercises; exchange of information and also in defining common policies regarding methods that affect not only both countries, but the entire South American Region.” The full meaning of this statement seems obscure but the intention is clear.

Brazil seems to be at a crossroads as a regional power in terms of its foreign policy and strategic role in South America. In the past, it seemed to focus more on conflict resolution and cultivating relations with neighbouring states rather than with those farthest away. Even before giving some of the international organisations that it established an opportunity to show results, Brazil now seems to be looking beyond the continent.

Brazil-Guyana strategic relations remain cordial. But, how long will they remain so in light of its ambitious global thrust as a BRIC state and its regional reach as the military force in the Caribbean state of Haiti?

Nota del editor del blog:
Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra dl 17 de febrero de 1966.

Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .

“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

Banco Mundial autoriza planes de de preservación de los Bosques

Tomado de:

FCPF approves R-Plans for Guyana and Panama

29 June 2009

With the approval of the readiness plans for Guyana and Panama, the World Bank moves its Forest Carbon Partnership Facility forward despite civil society protests.

The third meeting of the Participants Committee (PC) of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) was held in Montreaux Switzerland June 15-18, 2009. The PC is the governing body of the FCPF and is made up of both donor and developing country representatives. The FCPF was created in 2007 as a mechanism to support country readiness for “reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation” (REDD), a topic currently under negotiation at the United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC). If REDD schemes are approved at the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December of this year, REDD countries would theoretically be eligible for payments from the industrialized countries to support forest conservation.

“REDD readiness”, in World Bank lingo, entails developing a reference scenario of the country’s historical and projected deforestation patterns, a strategy to reduce deforestation and conserve standing natural forest (a “REDD strategy”); and developing a system for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions reductions, all of which will need to be in compliance with evolving international standards to make the country eligible for REDD payments. The FCPF is made up of two funds, a readiness fund and a carbon fund, the former to support country readiness efforts, the latter to buy certified emissions reductions for trading on the carbon markets. The carbon fund is not yet operational.

On the agenda for this meeting were readiness plans (R-Plans) from three countries: Guyana, Panama and Indonesia, as well as other points having to do with the template countries use to develop their R-Plans, the application of World Bank safeguards to FCPF projects, and the FCPF budget.

With regard to the three countries, while there was significant debate within the PC around weaknesses in all three R-plans, the political pressure to move the process forward won the day, with approval of the Guyana and Panama plans, and approval pending for Indonesia. R-Plan grants amount to a maximum of US$3.6 million, which includes a $200,000 grant which can be provided up front to support R-Plan development. Both donor and REDD country representatives on the PC expressed concern that if the PC didn’t approve the plans now, there would be little progress to show in Copenhagen in December, undercutting the ability of nations advocating UNFCCC adoption of REDD to point to real on the ground advances. The World Bank is positioning itself to be the main financial intermediary for climate change aid flows, despite civil society protest. The Bank similarly has strong institutional pressures to move the FCPF process forward and demonstrate capacity and achievements in piloting REDD, and is now essentially competing with other institutions which could play a similar role, such as the UNREDD and the Amazon Fund in Brazil.

Unfortunately, this issue of setting precedents cuts both ways: if the FCPF is seen to support poorly designed REDD projects in countries with significant governance problems in the forest sector, it will not only undermine public confidence in the FCPF, but could undercut the rationale for REDD in the first place. In order to help the PC make a decision on whether to approve a R-Plan, the World Bank has assembled a Technical Advisory Panel (or TAP) of experts on forest issues, the recipient country, and at least one expert on indigenous issues, for each R-Plan. The TAP members for each produce an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the country’s R-Plan, and then develop a synthesis TAP report which is then sent to the country, and later to the PC. They base that analysis on a set of standards and criteria for R-Plans that was proposed by the Bank staff who run the FCPF, the Facility Management Team (FMT) in February of this year, revised by the PC (with significant input from civil society) in March of this year, and disseminated to the REDD country members of the FCPF.

The TAP reports for Guyana, Panama and Indonesia all noted significant weaknesses in the R-Plans, one of the main complaints being that their analysis of the drivers of deforestation was incomplete and poorly aligned with their proposed strategies. This is one of the biggest issues in the FCPF and perhaps REDD generally—many of the real drivers of deforestation come from outside the forest sector—mining, oil and gas projects, road construction, infrastructure and tourism development, expansion of agriculture and cattle ranching and the like. Said drivers are representative of the powerful economic interests that extend beyond the capacity of Forestry or Environment Ministers in charge of REDD planning to contain or even bring to the table to negotiate on future developments that will affect forests.

Another big issue is the weak governance of forests in the majority of REDD countries, Guyana and Panama being among those with relatively strong institutional frameworks. Achieving sustained reductions in deforestation entails changing the economic incentives for a wide range of actors, creating an enabling policy framework, and significant improvements in law enforcement in areas where states often have little or no real presence. It also requires clarity of ownership of land and natural resources (including, but not limited to, carbon). Because many of the last remaining areas of forest in the world are home to indigenous peoples who are, in many cases, responsible for their preservation, states must finally recognize the land and natural resource rights of their indigenous peoples. Such recognition must be accompanied by demarcation, land titling and effective protections against encroachment by miners, loggers and settlers. This requires political will at the top level of government, and entails some degree of confrontation with powerful economic interests who are currently profiting from deforestation.

Focus on World Bank Safeguard Review

With the approval of the R-plans for Guyana and Panama, and the presumed approval of Indonesia’s R-plan in the next month, the focus shifts away from the PC and back onto the FMT as they conduct their due diligence prior to drafting grant agreements with the countries. A series of issues, or concerns arising from TAP reviews, civil society critiques and bank internal reviews, regarding areas of the R-Plan that need strengthening were documented in the PC meeting, and it is hoped that the FMT will work with countries to incorporate changes to the R-Plans prior to grant agreements. The final version of the document summarizing these concerns will be circulated to the PC in July as part of the resolutions approving the R-Plans, and there may be some room for civil society to pressure governments to ensure that the summary is as complete as possible. Apart from that, there are few additional mechanisms for civil society to formally input or even access information during the Bank’s due diligence process, although the FMT has demonstrated that they are receptive to hearing from civil society in-country, and groups working on REDD issues nationally should communicate their concerns directly.

The World Bank’s due diligence with respect to FCPF projects is currently being treated as an investment project, as per the FCPF charter, and R-Plans need to be screened for the full range of potential social and environmental impacts under the Bank’s operational policies for environmental assessment, natural habitats, forests, relocation and indigenous peoples. An integrated safeguard data sheet will be made public at the time a grant agreement is signed. There is, however, significant discussion within the FMT and the Bank more broadly on how to apply the social and environmental safeguards to REDD readiness projects, as there are no (or very few) real investments in the classic sense at this point of the process, and the R-Plans in fact consist mostly of terms of reference for further study, planning, consultation, strategy design and policy reform.

Use of Strategic Environmental Assessments

Given that the readiness processes being supported involve mostly planning and consultation, the FMT made a proposal in the Montreaux PC meeting to incorporate the use of strategic environmental and social assessments into the readiness processes, essentially carrying out SEA’s of the forest sector as a way of generating the information necessary to identify potential direct, indirect and cumulative social and environmental impacts down the road. This proposal was met with opposition from developing country representatives on the PC, who complained of additional burdensome procedures and the delays they would cause, and who also criticized the Bank for changing the procedures mid-stream. The Bank responded by reminding members that everyone had committed to and was aware of the need to conduct safeguard review established in the FCPF Charter, and that this being a new process, the Bank has had to come up with a proposal on how exactly, safeguards could be effectively and efficiently applied to FCPF projects.

Safeguards review of R-Plans will be a critical area for civil society to remain engaged. Many lingering concerns remain, ranging from adverse effects on forests and biodiversity due to conversion of natural forests to plantations or continuance of large scale industrial logging under the guise of sustainable forest management and social impacts due to land grabs, dislocation of indigenous peoples and other forest dwelling communities with unclear land tenure and the channeling of benefits to those who have been deforesting rather than those who have been conserving the forest. Perhaps these difficulties can be avoided with careful planning and analysis by participatory multi-stakeholder processes feeding into national REDD strategies.

The approval of the R-Plans also places the spotlight on the governments of Guyana, Panama and Indonesia, who, as the first countries to formally begin REDD readiness under the auspices of the World Bank, will be carefully scrutinized. The experiences of these pilot countries will be used to assess whether the FCPF process is capable of facilitating sustained and effective engagement with civil society and indigenous peoples, and of producing high quality plans for reducing deforestation that are credible both nationally and internationally. There is clearly also widespread international interest in determining whether the FCPF process will be able to support country generation of plausible reference scenarios and monitoring, reporting and verification systems that can meet international standards which may emerge after a global climate deal.

Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra dl 17 de febrero de 1966.

Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

lunes, 29 de junio de 2009

Guerra a la vista (1)

Guerra a la vista (1)

Tomado de
Nelson Maica CDomingo, 28 de junio de 2009
¿El gobernante, por ahora, de Venezuela prepara una guerra contra los Estados Unidos de América? Esta pregunta inquieta a una parte de la población venezolana, sobre todo, después de la Cumbre de las Americas celebrada en Trinidad y Tobago el pasado abril del presente año, cuando el Presidente de los Estados Unidos declaro que su país tenia un presupuesto de defensa 600 veces mayor que el de Venezuela.

¿Guerra a cuenta de quien y por que? Es ampliamente conocida la política de compras de equipo y armamento militar por el gobernante venezolano. Lo justifica argumentando que es renovación y actualización del parque militar. Los lugareños rechazamos tales políticas, sobre todo porque se trata, en gran escala, supuestamente de negocios de los “perros de la guerra” y de la corruptela en el poder y, además, de supuestas compras inútiles de equipos viejos, obsoletos, y en algunos casos, tipo chatarra.

Indudablemente que esa política aunada a su lenguaje vulgar, procaz, por decir lo menos, parecido al chorro que sale de una cloaca podrida y contaminada, prendió alarmas naturales en todo el continente y más allá. En particular a los vecinos.

Armamento Ruso en cantidad para Venezuela incluyendo una fabrica de fusiles kalashnikov; pero ya se han caído varios helicópteros. No se conoce el resultado de las investigaciones pertinentes. El pueblo tiene derecho a estar informado verazmente. La impresión en la población es que se adquirió armamento chatarra, desperdicio de la guerra fría. Todo un negocio para la nueva oligarquía y para los perros de la guerra. Una manera de reforzar las relaciones de dependencia con Cuba quien, supuestamente, habla ruso y puede traducir manuales y entrenar gente y actuar como agente de negocios. Claro esta, supuestamente, con su respectiva comisión en bancos extranjeros, los llamados paraísos fiscales.

De China, armamento y radares. Lanchas patrulleras y gas “del bueno” de España. Alianza guerrera con Irán, supuestos lazos “globales y estratégicos”. Eso coloca a Venezuela dentro del llamado por los analistas el “eje del mal” contra la humanidad.

Estados Unidos tomo previsiones. Toda arma que tiene un componente de origen norteamericano no puede ser vendida sin su conocimiento y permiso.

¿Más bulla que la cabuya? ¿Tal vez? Todo ese decir y todas esas compras de armamentos están soportadas por los ingresos petroleros. Si hay dólares hay compras, “juguetes” y pingues ganancias para sus cachorros. La realidad parece ir en otro sentido: crisis mundial financiera, baja en los precios del petróleo, compras desmedidas y diversificadas de equipos militares. Resultado: problemas no previstos. Lento pago a los rusos y españoles: retraso en las entregas de todo tipo. Carencia de repuestos y piezas de obligatorio reemplazo. Jubilaciones anticipadas a los militares, sobre todo a altos oficiales y técnicos: empezar de nuevo y echar por la borda conocimiento y experiencia. Trata de politizar e ideólogizar las fuerzas armadas para su exclusivo servicio y bajo el control cubano. Los aviones rusos y los helicópteros están bajo control del ejército y no de la fuerza aérea. Toda una locura.

Insiste cansona y ya no creíble cantaleta de la justificación pública que ha dado el gobernante para la compra de tanto equipo militar, por ahora, necesidad de sustituir equipo obsoleto. Es su simulacro, su coartada, su camuflaje. Su cuento. Su encubrimiento. ¿Cuánto se ha pagado? El ciudadano, la población en general, el pueblo se pregunta si el equipo militar que esta comprando es equipo quedado de la segunda guerra mundial y de la guerra fría. Visto los accidentes registrados y la falta de explicación confiable sobre los mismos. ¿Quiénes pueden certificar confiablemente tales informaciones oficiales? Las noticias vienen del exterior, de publicaciones en otros idiomas y revistas y periódicos y paginas Web, etc. ¿Cómo son, como están, por ejemplo el tamaño, la moral, el conocimiento, la disposición de lo que queda o de lo que son hoy las fuerzas armadas venezolanas? Sigue en el próximo.

Nota: 01. “La propiedad es un robo”…gritó hace poco… tremendo efecto mediático para los incautos, emitido por el único e indispensable e insustituible y dueño de la verdad y jefe y amo de los rojos, rojitos que aun quedan y le oyen…la frase, viejísima, manida, le pertenece a Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, anarquista francés, 1840, estampada en uno de sus escritos titulado: “¿Qué es la propiedad? O una investigación acerca del principio del derecho y del gobierno”… en ese mismo libro está otra afirmación del mismo autor: “La propiedad es Libertad”… pero no la resalta, no le interesa, la oculta…así de sencillo… “Proudhon creía que la concepción habitual de la propiedad combina dos componentes distintos que, una vez identificados, mostrarían la diferencia entre la propiedad como una forma de tiranía y la propiedad usada para proteger la libertad”… no le soplaron el cuento completo o no entendió lo leído o manipulo el texto o como dice el pueblo: “cada ladrón juzga por su condición”… ¿Qué opina usted?...

“Mientras que la gente crea en cosas absurdas continuará cometiendo atrocidades”. François Marie Arouet, más conocido como Voltaire (1694 - 1778) fue un escritor y filósofo francés.

domingo, 28 de junio de 2009

Comisiones regionales

Tomado de:

Regional commitments

Stabroek staff June 28, 2009 in Editorial

As the Caricom heads gather in Georgetown for their annual ritual, they do so in circumstances where three of them have committed themselves to integration with a regional organization of an altogether different cast. This is the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, formerly known as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, and usually referred to by its acronym, ‘Alba.’ Questions had been raised earlier in the region about Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s integration project involving Trinidad and the Eastern Caribbean, which, it was said, would undermine Caricom. While this view is not without merit, at least it involves a sub-grouping of Caricom states, which, Trinidad excepted, are already members of the OECS. Alba, in contrast, is the creature of President Hugo Chávez, and a vehicle for Venezuelan aggrandisement first in the region, and then in the hemisphere. Earlier this month Prime Minister Bruce Golding of Jamaica was reported as saying that Alba was “going to have a destabilizing effect on Caricom.”

The Caricom states which have committed themselves to Alba are Dominica, which joined some time ago, and most recently, Antigua and Barbuda, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. In addition to these countries and Venezuela, the members of the bloc now consist of Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Honduras and Nicaragua. It should be added that at the Sixth Summit of Alba, held last week in Aragua State, Venezuela, Grenada participated as an observer, from which it can perhaps be inferred that that island too may be contemplating a realignment of its regional commitments.

The Latin states involved are all socialist in orientation, which is no accident since the declared objectives of the organization are anti-capitalist and anti-free market. Exactly how the three Caricom nations reconcile this with the principles enunciated in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, has yet to be explained. But more than this, as Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said last week, “Alba is a political project… We should not reduce integration to the search for markets.” And President Chávez’s political directions are hardly a secret.

While all elections held in Venezuela under his watch have been free so far, he has reduced the democratic space in the country considerably in other ways, and has the independent media under great pressure. His foreign alliances too, have not reflected a preference for democratic regimes, and his general lack of concern for democracy and the open society is revealed in his statements about Cuba, which he holds out as a model to be emulated. Alba too incorporates the Venezuelan President’s perceptions, and the final declaration of the summit last week included statements that the leaders backed President Ahmadinejad of Iran, rejected “foreign interference” in Iran’s domestic issues and held the CIA responsible for the protests in Tehran and other cities.

Whether the three Caricom members signed on to all parts of this declaration, is not clear at the moment, but even if they did not, they will be associated with it, and at future summits they will find they will have less and less room to distinguish their positions; Mr Chávez simply does not have the patience for dissent. (It might be noted in passing, that while most Caricom governing parties for obvious reasons have had little to say about the Iranian election, Guyana’s PPP, courtesy of Mr Donald Ramotar writing in the Weekend Mirror – and despite a contradictory final paragraph – ironically, given its history, argued itself into a position that Mr Ahmadinejad appeared to have won the election, and the Western media were going “overboard.”) Iran, of course, is one of the nations identified by President of the Alba bank with which the organization will negotiate joint co-operation projects.

At the summit too, according to El Universal, the nine members of the grouping announced that they would mobilize “against the coup attempt” reported by President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras. Exactly what this means is uncertain; however, the possible general future direction which Mr Chávez might have in mind for Alba’s external enterprises, was revealed in his address to the group where he said that aggression against any Latin American or Caribbean country will be viewed as aggression against all peoples. “To strike Nicaragua is to strike Venezuela…” he was quoted as saying. At the moment this might seem to be little more than hyperbole, but the President of our western neighbour is nothing if not ambitious, and, it might be added, tenacious, where his long-term vision is concerned.

He also launched into a diatribe against the UN and OAS in his customary uninhibited fashion, and while many countries have voiced their well-founded criticisms of the first organization in particular, Mr Chávez had previously given an insight into his thinking by threatening to withdraw from the OAS. If he could build up Alba enough, it is reasonable to surmise that he would take the members out of the OAS as a direct challenge to the US and those he perceives as Washington’s allies. In that game, numbers are important, which is one of the reasons (although by no means the only one) why he is pursuing the small states of Caricom with such avidity. It was the Honduran Foreign Minister, however, who suggested to the summit that the Alba nations form a “united platform regarding their common problems” at meetings of the UN and OAS, among others. This proposal will no doubt be pursued at some point, and if so, where will Caricom fit into that scenario, more particularly if there is a clash of interests?

President Chávez is not a man to waste time, and the three Caricom islands will find themselves locked into his aims and objectives sooner rather than later. But why, it might be asked, have they committed themselves to an arrangement whose conception no matter what they say, cannot be reconciled with that of Caricom. The answer is quite simply economic. In exchange for some extraordinarily generous aid, Dominica has sacrificed her position on Bird Island (or Bird Rock), thereby allowing Venezuela to claim maritime space that impinges even on that of Barbados. At the very least it can be said that there has been no attenuation of Venezuela’s greed where the Caribbean is concerned, since that country prefers to take over territory herself rather than assist small islands to develop resources which are legitimately theirs. As we had mentioned in an editorial some time ago, Venezuela is now challenging Barbados’s right to issue concessions in a particular offshore area.

According to Caribbean Net News, Caracas is establishing a state-of-the-art coffee processing plant on Dominica, and is also opening a branch of the Alba bank there. This is in addition to the fuel storage and distribution plant, sea defence works, airport improvement, road construction and housing. Other areas of co-operation, the agency reported, included national security, agriculture, tourism, human resource development, the construction of two primary schools and the funding of some community-based projects. With this level of Venezuelan investment, Dominica will find that to all intents and purposes she has surrendered her sovereignty and her independence. The fact that Mr Chávez is fulfilling his promises to Dominica at a time when analysts say that for economic reasons he cannot possibly implement all the promises he has made around the region, speaks volumes about his intentions and his geopolitical thinking.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer of Antigua was reported recently as saying that joining Alba did not in any way signal a wavering of his country’s commitment to integration at the level of the OECS and Caricom. He really can’t be serious. Venezuela is trying to swallow Caricom, territory by territory.

Nota del editor del blog: Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra dl 17 de febrero de 1966.

Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

Las poblaciones amerindias de Cuyuni y Mazaruni contaminadas por mercurio ( Guayana Esequiba)

Tomado de:

Diminished mercury use in gold mining ‘inevitable’

By Stabroek staff June 28, 2009 in Local News

miners must gear for change
They have been romanticized as lonely men seeking to make their fortune; praised for their contributions to the economy and vilified as destroyers of the environment. And now miners are being swept up in a change many regard as inevitable.

None has made it so clear as Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, who bluntly told miners that they are currently not meeting the standards requir-ed and would have to make a significant change in attitudes and practices and do this rapidly. His statements came at the launch of the Guyana Low Carbon Development Strategy, a plan which outlines Guyana’s approach to promoting economic development in an environmentally sustainable way. A key part of the strategy involves the deployment of Guyana’s rainforest towards addressing global climate change.

President Bharrat Jagdeo has said that mining will continue but it will be “very, very controlled” with minimal impact on the environment.“It can’t be business as usual,” William Woolford, head of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) told this newspaper.

Miners have “got to change the way” they currently conduct their operations, said Rickford Vieira, the Regional Goldmining Pollution Abate-ment Coordinator at the Guyana Office of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).Executive Director of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) Edward Shields acknowledges that change is inevitable.

In recent times, the gold mining industry has come under increased scrutiny with the use of mercury in operations being of concern to many, particularly those in the environmental sector. The use of mercury, which is toxic to human health and the environment, in gold mining is governed by strict regulations here but compliance is another matter. The chemical is relatively easy to obtain in Georgetown and retails for about $4,200 per pound.

Use of mercury

Mercury is primarily used to create an amalgam with the gold, and is later heated to separate it. In the process of heating, unless a retort is used, the mercury then enters the atmosphere, and precipitates back into the water, from where it enters the ecosystem, and the food chain. A retort is a closed container, which traps and condenses the mercury vapour without releasing it into the atmosphere.

However, some miners use mercury in sluice boxes which eventually leads to the pits being spiked. This system of mercury use is particularly dangerous, as it introduces mercury directly into the water system. Shields admitted that this is being done at present and says that the association has spoken out against it. He noted that it is the miners themselves, who are affected. It is not clear how much mercury is used in the industry annually and Vieira said the WWF uses a “rough ratio” of one gramme of mercury to one gramme of gold produced.

The European Union and the United States have both announced bans on mercury exports from those countries which will come into force in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Shields said he does not believe that the bans will affect local miners, a view that is not shared by Vieira.

Shields declared that miners do not have any special affiliation for mercury. “Mercury is just something that is necessary to amalgam the gold and until such time that there can be a credible alternative to the use of mercury; miners will continue to use mercury,” he said. He asserted that once there is demand and there is heavy demand for it in many parts of the world, if a company cannot manufacture mercury in Europe then it will shift its business elsewhere.

However, Vieira pointed out that the ban means that mercury will not be available in sufficient quantities to sustain the industry.

In the meantime, differences regarding mercury are evident. “In terms of polluting rivers, mercury contaminated rivers and so forth, hundreds of studies have been done in Guyana and to date, there is no study that concludes that mining is the cause of mercury pollution,” Shields said. “You may have noted and found mercury but there is nothing definitive that says that mercury came about because of mining,” he added. He revealed that the Miners Association has viewed some efforts with suspicion as it believes the emphasis on mercury was because persons wanted to stop mining. “It had nothing to do with the health of anybody because the question is always asked, if a person has high concentrates of mercury in his system, what is the next step and to date I am still to get an answer. Do they have medical treatment? Do we go to a doctor? Is there another way of detoxifying the person? There seems to be nobody looks at that.” he declared. He reasons that the pollution and turbidity can be rectified and even eliminated but mercury is not biodegradable and mining would have to cease. “So that is why we were always very suspicious of this emphasis on mercury.”

Long-term effect

Vieira, however, said that studies have proved that mining activities have released mercury into the environment. He referred to a Guyana Environmental Capacity Development Project (GENCAPD) study in 2000, which found that 89%-96% of the population surveyed in Isseneru Village in Region Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni) had dangerous levels of mercury contamination. Residents of the community are involved in gold mining and the study found that no one in the village owned a retort, and many kept mercury at home, near sleeping and cooking areas. They also ate more fish than another community that was surveyed. Vieira said tests on persons, who trade in gold and work in an enclosed environment, have revealed high mercury levels. He admits that it is more of an occupational and safety issue but points to another study done in the North-West District, where persons hardly ate any fish, which were largely absent because of the turbidity levels of the rivers, and were only exposed to the mercury through mining.

Long-term effects of mercury poisoning include damage to the brain, nervous system, kidneys and thyroid and Vieira points out that it is important to understand that mercury poisoning is a long-term problem and symptoms don’t show up until years later. He said that exports of mercury were banned precisely because of the harm it could cause and at present the WWF is looking at developing a project proposal with the Ministry of Health to do a health assessment in areas where mercury is shown to be in residents systems. He said that they would give advice on what can be done.

Meantime, Shields referred to another study done by GENCAPD which found that people at Gunn’s Strip had high levels of mercury in their bodies even though no mining is done there. He said people need to realize that mercury occurs naturally. However, he later acknowledged that some miners do not use mercury as they should. “If the laws that apply to the use of mercury in Guyana are applied, it would cut down the amount of mercury being used by almost 70%”, he said. Pointing to the rules that govern the use of the chemical, he said that the message has not been getting out.

But are practices changing and have miners begun exploring mercury-free techniques to recover gold? They have, Shields said. He pointed to several ongoing projects including one current one where environmental officers attached to the GGDMA are working in the field with the GGMC and demonstrating the use of shaking tables to miners in the Mahdia district. He said that he has noticed that priority is now being given by the conservation and environmental agencies, including the WWF, to hands-on projects demonstrating how miners can mine without using mercury or with minimum use of mercury and the association is happy with this. “We are not by definition willing to destroy our own environment. If they come up with a method that could amalgam the gold tomorrow and not use mercury, quickly and easily, some other chemical, then the miner will jump aboard,” he commented.


He declared that miners are not very interested in going to a theoretical seminar; on-the-ground demonstrations are the type of help needed.Every industry has renegades, Shields said, stating that mining is a serious business and over 90% of miners want to work in accordance with the laws.

Woolford of the GGMC states that the regulatory agency has an education and awareness programme and officers are in the fields working with miners with respect to different mining methods and using a concentrator to process gold, where mercury is not necessary. A lot of work has been done, he said, adding that meetings have been held and mercury use in small-scale mining, discussed. He admits that there have been problems particularly when there are “shouts” and miners take chances to make money. He said that this calls for a culture change and it cannot be business as usual.

The regulatory agency head pointed out that overall, there is evidence of a positive change of attitude in miners. “The miners have been willing to work with us which is a big change of attitude,” he said.

Vieira said the WWF is working to expose miners to some of the alternatives to mercury use. He said several projects that are being done are part of a strategy to get miners knowledgeable about mercury-free techniques. He said the GGDMA has purchased two pieces of mercury-free equipment: a cyanidation plant and a shaking table, through a grant by the WWF.

But Shields said the problem with alternative methods of processing gold is the cost. He recalled a visit to French Guiana, a trip sponsored by the WWF, where miners were able to observe mercury-free techniques. He said after the use of mercury was banned in that country, a different type of processing system was introduced and miners received help. There are laboratories to process the gold and exploration is done before the actual work commences. And he noted the amount of gold produced in the mines there is significantly higher.

“In our country, hopefully we are working towards a situation where the industry is trying to move away from this hit and miss type of prospecting,” he said adding that miners must do more drilling. He said the GGMC can assist in this regard suggesting that geologists can prospect, report the findings and the GGMC can put out a bulletin, identifying where minerals are located and similar data. He observed that once mining becomes organised in the sense that persons are not mining until they have some idea of what they can get, then they would have no problem investing money in equipment.

It is a view echoed by Vieira, who said that in the future, miners have to look to alternatives. He asserts that amalgamation is not the best way to recover gold and projects are ongoing, with various partners, on making miners aware that the alternatives have higher recovery rates. With regard to cost, he said that not every miner has to invest in equipment; there can be a centralized location for processing. Miners have to start doing exploration, he said and they know this. “They know that the system will evolve into something more competitive, more environmentally-accepted. It has to be like any other business where feasibility studies are done,” Vieira said.

Nota del editor del blog:
Al referenciarse a la República Cooperativa de Guyana se deben de tener en cuenta los 159.500Km2, de territorios ubicados al oeste del río Esequibo conocidos con el nombre de Guayana Esequiba o Zona en Reclamación sujetos al Acuerdo de Ginebra dl 17 de febrero de 1966.

Territorios estos sobre los cuales el gobierno Venezolano en representación de la Nación venezolana se reservo sus derechos sobre los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba en su nota del 26 de mayo de 1966 al reconocerse al nuevo Estado de Guyana .
“...por lo tanto, Venezuela reconoce como territorio del nuevo Estado, el que se sitúa al este de la margen derecha del río Esequibo y reitera ante la comunidad internacional, que se reserva expresamente sus derechos de soberanía territorial sobre la zona que se encuentra en la margen izquierda del precitado río; en consecuencia, el territorio de la Guayana Esequiba sobre el cual Venezuela se reserva expresamente sus derechos soberanos, limita al Este con el nuevo Estado de Guyana, a través de la línea del río Esequibo, tomando éste desde su nacimiento hasta su desembocadura en el Océano Atlántico...”

Actualmente en los territorios de la Guayana Esequiba se encuentran entre seis y ocho mil mineros ilegales de nacionalidad brasileña conocidos como Garimpeiros y otros tantos Guyaneses denominados Pork-nockers (mineros ilegales guyaneses) que desbastan las selvas que no han sido controlados lo que hace insegura las aéreas de explotación minera donde ocurren continuos asaltos y asesinatos. Para poder controlar el uso del mercurio primero hay que controlar la minería ilegal, y el comercio del oro.

jueves, 25 de junio de 2009

Venezuela en Franjas

Tomado de:

Zona en Reclamación

Como arquitecto, los sistemas y las relaciones espaciales están siempre presentes sin importar el contexto; haciendo un ejercicio mental bajo la búsqueda de la identidad venezolana, entendida bajo la perspectiva geográfica, a partir de los límites espaciales de una región donde habita la sociedad, encontré con gran angustia la carencia de un mapa actual de Venezuela.

Por ello presento el siguiente cartel, donde esbozo a manera contemporánea el nuevo perfil venezolano, exento de la zona en reclamación, siendo ella misma una Gran Zona en Reclamación. Apuntando directamente a la masa de habitantes que vive en coordenadas ajenas a la nuestra, dejando de generar identidades propias, creando una carencia de sentido de pertenencia que finalmente afecta la creación propia

Filman película sobre alzamiento de Rupununi (Guayana Esequiba)

La Guayana Esequiba y la región del Rupununi donde se produjo la rebelión.

La Sra. Valery Hart líder del movimiento.

jueves, 25 de junio de 2009

Los sucesos del Rupununi, cuando en 1969, un grupo de pobladores del territorio Esequibo, tomó las armas para independizarse de Guyana, movimiento que fracasó poco después por traición de algunos de los comprometidos, irá al cine a través de una película que se encuentra en pleno desarrollo, bajo la conducción David Campero, un joven guayanés que comienza a explorar estas indómitas tierras, considerando que nada mejor que recordar una historia que tiene más de 100 años, como es la reclamación del Esequibo, sin que haya gobierno alguno u organización particular que reviva las reclamaciones.

El mismo novel cineasta lo cuenta:

-La insurrección del Rupununi constituyó una buena oportunidad para que Venezuela realizara una efectiva lucha de nuestros intereses sobre el territorio que fue usurpado a nuestro país por el imperialismo inglés.

En efecto, el 03 de octubre de 1899, se firma en París el famoso protocolo mediante el cual, Inglaterra despoja a Venezuela de 159.500 kilómetros cuadrados, ubicados entre los ríos Cuyuni del municipio Sifontes y el Esequibo en el extremo Sur, en dirección de Guyana. Desde entonces, sólo ha habido bobas declaraciones de que el Esequibo es nuestro. De allí no se pasa. Se valora en estos tiempos la película que desarrolla Campero porque a través del cine, la reclamación del Esequibo podría interesar a la gente joven por este tema, porque la dirigencia convencional de estos días, se encuentra más sustraída por la política y por las ambiciones personales, que por la defensa del suelo patrio.

La región del Rupununi se encuentra al Sur de Guayana, un tanto más hacia el lado de Brasil. Sus tierras las cubren selvas y sabanas con muchas reservas hídricas, indicándose que sus suelos y subsuelos guardan celosamente cualquier tipo de minerales, muchos de los cuales consideramos como estratégicos

David Campero recuerda que la zona de Rupununi está principalmente habitada por gente de raza negra y asiática, con numerosos indoamericanos.

La sublevación del Rupununi

-La insurrección del Rupununi ocurrió el 02 de enero de 1969 –recuerda David Campero-, ocasión en que prácticamente toda la población residente estaba con la acción emprendida. A eso de las 10 de la mañana, la insurrección había tomado las estaciones de radio y dominados los funcionarios del Gobierno de Guyana. Los aeropuertos estaban bloqueados.

El jefe de la insurrección fue el coronel Averell John Melville. La insurrección fracasó, porque Orlando García Vásquez, espía de la CIA, interviniendo desde Venezuela, había logrado comunicarse a través de un radio con el Gobierno de Guyana, dando cuenta del alzamiento. El espía que se hacía pasar por misionero canadiense, intervino junto con la fuerza guyanesa, rehabilitando los servicios truncados. La fuerza del Gobierno llegó en aviones al aeropuerto de Manarí, a donde fueron llegando refuerzos de la Mancomunidad Británica. 2.500 soldados controlaron la situación y la insurrección terminó.

A partir del 03 de enero, los insurrectos siguieron huyendo hacia Venezuela y Brasil. Avionetas venezolanas intervinieron en el rescate. La señora Valierie Hart logra llegar a Caracas, quien en nombre del Comité Provisional del Gobierno de Rupununi, pide ayuda para rescatar a la población que estaba siendo masacrada por las fuerzas del gobierno guyanés.

Los asentamientos en Venezuela
Producto de la acción del Rupununi y de la acción oficial contra la sublevación, numerosos habitantes de aquella región, llegaron a Venezuela, por el lado Sur. El Gobierno de la época los recibió y los ubicó en tres lugares donde les fueron construidas viviendas. Los lugares ocupados por las personas del Rupununi son San Ignacio de Yuruaní en la Gran Sabana, La Churuata en Las Claritas y San Martín de Turumbang, Municipio Sifontes.

La historia jamás contada
Con actores principiantes, quienes se mueven en el mundo del teatro local de los municipios del Sur, se desarrolla la película y según su realizador, David Campero, la actuación de los jóvenes es más que aceptable, exitosa, y mucho más, en cuanto que el desarrollo de la película ocurre en parajes del Esequibo, en el corazón de la selva, donde aprovechan el exuberante paisaje para una ambientación natural. Campero, al valorar la película, recuerda que, ciertamente, se trata de una historia jamás contada y que próximamente se podrá ver en cartelera. Isica.

Temas Relacionados:

miércoles, 24 de junio de 2009

La Guayana Esequiba y la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente de 1999. Parte IV

Temas Relacionados:
Parte I
Parte II
Parte III

Tiene la palabra el constituyente Hermann Escarrá.

CONSTITUYENTE ESCARRÁ (HERMANN).-Honorable Presidente, honorables Vicepresidentes, constituyentes: En primer lugar, este es un tema de vital trascendencia para esta Asamblea y para el país. Se trata de una de las tres condiciones existenciales del Estado, que es el correspondiente al espacio territorial.
Debo comenzar por una aclaración en lo que respecta al espacio geográfico. Lo que allí ocurrió es que en la Comisión Constitucional y antes de la Comisión Constitucional, fue eliminada la propuesta de carácter geoestratégico.

Ciertamente la noción de espacio geográfico no obedece al Derecho Internacional Público Clásico, sino fundamentalmente a la noción geopolítica y geoestratégica del mismo.

Cuando nosotros hablamos de una fachada caribana o caribeña, de una fachada atlántica, amazónica o de una fachada andina, no estamos hablando del concepto jurídico de territorio, sino fundamentalmente del concepto geopolítico de espacio geográfico.

Valdría la pena, entonces, reflexionar en dos sentidos. O sustituimos el término "...espacio geográfico..." por "...territorio..." o regresamos a la norma referida a la visión geopolítica, con lo cual habría que incluir la noción de "...espacio geográfico..." o fundamentalmente incorporamos la dos nociones a la norma.

La segunda consideración, tiene que ver con la Capitanía General de Venezuela y los sucesos ocurridos a partir de 1810. Si bien es cierto, el 19 de Abril de 1810, no es considerado constitucionalmente un acto fundacional de la República, ciertamente, es la génesis prefundacional de la Independencia y de la I República.

Valdría la pena hacer intangible, entonces, la frase según la cual, a partir de la Capitanía General de Venezuela y de los sucesos políticos que sugirieron transformaciones a partir del 19 de Abril de 1810.

El último tema, la parte infine del artículo, es de suyo delicado. En realidad comienzo por decir que comparto la propuesta de García Ponce y del Polo Patriótico, la he compartido invariablemente, y quiero argumentar a su favor algunas consideraciones.

La primera consideración es que no es verdad, como dice el profesor Brewer Carías, que al referir a los laudos arbitrales viciados de nulidad, inmediatamente debamos acudir a sede jurisdiccional internacional.

Cuando se asume una posición de esta naturaleza, simplemente se activa el artículo 33 de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas, que nos refiere a los cuatro sistemas de solución pacífica de las controversias.

En estos momentos, nosotros estamos en el sistema de intermediación de buena fe, pero además, quisiera agregar un principio universal de Derecho Internacional Público que se describe en Latín en los siguientes términos Factum brutus nones iuris, es decir, cuando se trata de hechos que son fundamentalmente ajenos al ordenamiento jurídico, no pueden considerarse situaciones de derecho y ese es el argumento fundamental de nosotros, ya que como decía Olavarría, no tuvimos ex aequio ex bonus , sino un ex aequio ex malu.

Finalmente, al apoyar la tesis de los Tratados y Laudos Arbitrales no viciados de nulidad, creo que nosotros superamos la posición tímida -gravemente tímida- de los constituyentes de 1961. No es suficiente en el Derecho Internacional sostener la tesis de los Tratados celebrados o no válidamente por la República, entre otras razones porque eso nos remite a los procedimientos de los Tratados de Viena, que es el fundamento de los Derechos de los Tratados, y no nos remite a los actos de soberanía y a los actos constituyentes.

En consecuencia, la tesis de García Ponce y del Polo Patriótico es fundamentalmente un acto de soberanía y un acto constituyente.

Honorable Presidente, en este sentido sugiero: En primer lugar, la revisión del concepto de espacio geográfico; en segundo lugar, mejorar lo relativo a la Capitanía General de Venezuela con la redacción clásica y tradicional; y en tercer lugar, sostener la parte in fine de la norma que se refiere a los Tratados y Laudos Arbitrales no viciados de nulidad, porque de lo que se trata es de un acto de soberanía, de un acto constituyente y de la invariabilidad de nuestra posición de no seguir perdiendo más el territorio de la República.Gracias, honorable Presidente.

Guayana Esequiba - Imágenes de la Zona en Reclamación IV

Tomado de:

Guayana Esequiba Imágenes de la Zona en Reclamación Page 4 ...
No se justifica que Venezolanos que dicen ser ilustrados y con cultura y educación no tengan idea de que el reclamo sobre la Guayana Esequiba es justo ...

Ante la inminente apertura del Puente del río Tucutu ¿ le suministrara el Brasil electricidad venezolana a la región del Rupununi?

Tomado de:

Why not buy electricity from Brazil?

By Stabroek staff June 24, 2009 in Letters

Dear Editor,

A special thanks must go out to our two ministers who visited Lethem over the weekend. Due to their presence Lethem experienced the rare luxury of three nights of uninterrupted electricity supply. It seemed that it took the visit of these eminent guests for the Lethem Power Company to resolve it supply woes.

But what about the long-term energy plan for Lethem? The official opening of the Takutu Bridge is getting nearer (or at least we hope so) and there will be demand for energy. Where will this be coming from? The present electricity supply is woefully inadequate and breaks down very frequently. Even the supply network is said to be collapsing because of lack of maintenance. When will all these problems be tackled? Will we wait until after the bridge is officially open and energy is in demand before we tackle our problems?

Our government seems to think that providing a reliable supply of electricty is a simple undertaking which will happen overnight. Will we embarrass ourselves again, as with the bridge, when everyone assumed the bridge was ready to open, not least our Brazilian neighbours, only to realise that our government forgot to install the necessary infrastructure in Lethem?

The main reason for the ministers’ visit to the Rupununi was to promote the government’s ‘Low Carbon Development Plan.’ Part of this plan is to make Guyana utilise ‘cleaner’ electricity by way of hydroelectricity. But the cost attached to developing hydroelectricity is astronomical and would most likely be above our country’s means.

But what about considering a plan to utilise hydroelectricy from Venezuela, via Brazil? It is said that the Guri Dam in Venezuela has surplus electricity that can easily cover all of Guyana’s needs. This hydroelectricity is right at our border edge at Bon Fim. It was even said that the Governor of the state of Roraima in Brazil offered this electricity to Lethem when the Moco Moco hydro broke down. But alas, our government did not think this was necessary and Lethem’s electricity has gone downhill ever since.

Now that our President is leading the march for lower carbon emissions by utilising clean energy, would he reconsider Brazil’s offer of hydroelectricity to Lethem and possibly the entire country? The benefits for giving this proposal consideration seem numerous.

Firstly, we do not have to undertake the costs to design and construct the hydro dam. Secondly, the electricity is already at the border of our country at a point which our government considers a key long-term development location. Thirdly, if a network is developed along the road from Lethem to Georgetown then we would be killing many birds with one stone. We would already have an accessible road along which to run our electricity lines.

The road will, by necessity, have to be in excellent condition. Providing electricity along the road would make it easier for development to occur along this corridor. Fourthly, our country does not have to worry about any possible environmental disaster such as dam failure since the dam isn’t in our country. Fifthly, and possibly most importantly, the time-frame to convert to clean energy would be much shorter, thus meeting the criteria of reducing carbon emissions in the shortest possible time-frame.

So what really has made our government ignore this offer of hydroelectricity from Brazil? Well, that is what baffles everyone! No matter how you look at it, it seems that Guyana would have selected a winner if they had agreed.

One only hopes that our two ministers who visited the Rupununi to promote the government’s low carbon emissions, report to the President that constructing a hydro dam is not the only way that Guyana can access hydroelectricity. There may be a plan whose overall benefits far exceed that of constructing a dam at Amaila Falls, one that may be cheaper and faster to implement. If that be the case, then our government should put what they are preaching at these consultations into practice, and give this option serious consideration.
Yours faithfully,
(Name and addressprovided)

Próximamente será inaugurado el Puente sobre el río Tucutu en la Guayana Esequiba

Brazilian firm for $130M overhaul of GDF flagship

By Stabroek staff June 24, 2009 in Local News

Over the next four months, the army flagship GDFS Essequibo will have major repairs done to its main and auxiliary engines by a Brazilian naval engineering firm.

Army Chief of Staff, Commodore Gary Best and MAUNTEST Director Luis De Carvalho e Silva inked the $130M contract yesterday which is being funded by the Guyana Government.
Best told reporters that the firm is collaborating with the
coastguard engineers and so the repairs will be done in Guyana. He explained that while the army did not need to go to open tender to select the company to do the repairs, a number of overseas companies were contacted.

The GDFS Essequibo was purchased in the United Kingdom and so that was the army’s first area of contact. However that country had stopped the manufacture of such ships many years ago and so a firm to take on the repairs was not available. Efforts were also made further afield but the Brazilian firm seemed to be the best bet since it also owned ships of the same make. Best said this is why he was confident that the company would be able to do the overhaul.

Following the repairs the ship’s engine will have about five more years, with about 18,000 working hours. The repaired vessel will enhance maritime security and will help the army maintain maritime integrity with Guyana’s neighbours. While the vessel is being repaired, the GDF will continue its on shore monitoring of the borders and will bridge the gap by using aircraft for border surveillance.

MAUNTEST has the backing of Brazilian Ambassador Arthur Meyer who was on hand for yesterday’s signing and during brief remarks he alluded to increased co-operation between the two countries in the area of defence. He noted that the company had a lot of experience in naval engineering and added that he saw the signing of the agreement as another example of furthering co-operation in defence-related matters.

Meyer also said he was looking forward to improved relations between the two armies, particularly in the areas of exchange of information and training of staff. He said this would be strengthened further when the two countries sign a Defence Co-operation Agreement later this year.

In the area of co-operation too, he mentioned the official opening of the Takutu Bridge which is to take place shortly.

He said a definite date is awaiting a convenient time so that both heads could officiate at the ceremony.

Meyer said he was told by Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues that final preparations are being made on her side to allow for the opening of the bridge in the near future.

martes, 23 de junio de 2009

El hombre blanco enloquece con la tierra"

Tomado de:

Ecologistas de España y Gibraltar se unen para pedir al Foro Tripartito que trate la crisis ambiental en la Bahía


"El hombre blanco enloquece con la tierra"

Davi Kopenawa, voz de los indígenas yanomamis, lucha para que en Brasil no ocurra lo que en Perú. Su comunidad vive amenazada
JOSEBA ELOLA 21/06/2009

Terraza del restaurante de Casa de América, Madrid, a principios de junio. Davi Kopenawa saca una bolsa de plástico y extrae una especie de pelota negra que coloca bajo su labio superior. Es la hora de mascar tabaco. "No queremos dar nuestra tierra a los blancos porque los blancos ya tienen mucha tierra", dice. "Nosotros somos los que la protegemos, las personas de la ciudad talan árboles. El hombre blanco ama el dinero, el avión, el coche. Nosotros pensamos diferente". Kopenawa se recuesta en la silla. Lleva pintura roja en la cara, corona de plumas, collar. Viste camisa, vaqueros y zapatillas deportivas. Calcula que nació en torno a 1956.

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"No queremos dar nuestra tierra a los blancos. Nosotros la protegemos, ellos talan árboles"
Davi Kopenawa está luchando para que en Brasil no haya revueltas como las que han sacudido Perú. Hace dos semanas visitó Madrid poco antes de que llegaran las primeras noticias de los levantamientos en Bagua, que produjeron la muerte de 24 policías y entre nueve y cien indígenas, según las distintas fuentes. Se encuentra de gira por Europa defendiendo la causa de su pueblo, los yanomamis. Tras el estallido del conflicto en Perú, utiliza el correo electrónico para opinar sobre este hecho: "Lo que están haciendo con los indios allí es un crimen. Nosotros sufrimos el mismo problema con blancos que vienen a por nuestros recursos naturales".
El proyecto de ley 1610/96 sobre minería en tierras indígenas, aún en fase de discusión en el Congreso brasileño, puede abrir la puerta a la minería a gran escala en territorio yanomami. Puede suponer que las carreteras surquen las tierras de sus ancestros. "En Perú, el Gobierno mandó al ejército matar a los indios. En Brasil son los invasores los que matan a los indios, pero también tienen la culpa las autoridades, por dejarles entrar". Se refiere a los garimpeiros. Los buscadores de oro. Dice que hay en torno a 3.000 operando ilegalmente en el llamado Parque Yanomami, en la Amazonia.
Desde hace más de 25 años, Kopenawa es la voz de los yanomamis, su embajador. Durante el encuentro de Madrid había insistido en que no es un líder, sino un yanomami más. Ejerce como chamán, o sea, como guía espiritual-médico-psicólogo en su comunidad, Watoriki [la montaña del viento], compuesta por unas 150 personas. "Para el hombre blanco es difícil ser feliz", sostiene, "tiene una raíz muy grande en la ciudad, no puede cambiar. Está enloquecido con la tierra, siempre quiere sacar más y más para que la ciudad crezca; sólo piensa en el suelo: petróleo, oro, minerales, carreteras, coches, trenes".
Los yanomamis luchan desde hace años por preservar su modo de vida. Cazan con arco y flecha, pescan con una liana que atonta a los peces, cultivan en la selva. Son nómadas: cada dos o tres años, cuando la tierra se agota, se trasladan. En 1991 consiguieron que el presidente Fernando Collor de Mello creara el Parque Yanomami, una superficie dos veces el tamaño de Suiza (9,6 millones de hectáreas) para que esta comunidad de 16.000 habitantes pudiera vivir en paz. Se les concedió el derecho a utilizar la zona. Pero los derechos sobre los minerales pertenecen al Estado. Los garimpeiros que trabajan ilegalmente en sus territorios contaminan con mercurio los ríos y les transmiten enfermedades mortales.
Kopenawa caza tapires y jabalíes con arco y flecha. Está casado, tiene seis hijos y dos nietos. Vive tres meses en la selva y tres en Boa Vista
[una de las aglomeraciones urbanas del norte de Brasil]. Cuando está en la ciudad, habita las oficinas de Hutukara, la ONG que fundó en 2004 para defender los derechos de su pueblo. No le gusta demasiado salir de casa. "Nunca salgo de noche, hay malas personas en la calle", explica. Si sale de día, sólo va a lugares a los que pueda llegar a pie. La cosa cambia cuando está en su aldea: "Allí el cielo siempre es limpio, bello, lleno de estrellas. Lo que más me gusta es mirar la selva".
La primera vez que vio a un blanco tenía cinco años. "Sentí miedo, pensaba que era malo porque llevaba el pelo largo, era barbudo y usaba zapatos, ¡como yo ahora!", recuerda, y se ríe. Habla en un portugués que suena nasal y profundo.
No conoció a su padre. Su madre murió de sarampión cuando él tenía diez años. A los doce contrajo la tuberculosis y se convirtió en el primer yanomami que pisaba Manaos, capital amazónica; pasó un año en un hospital. Fue allí donde aprendió a hablar portugués.
Dos años más tarde, unos funcionarios de la Funai -Fundación Nacional del Indio- le escogieron para que hiciera de intérprete en visitas a las comunidades indígenas. El día en que vio a un coordinador de Funai expulsando a un blanco de la selva por cazar felinos en territorio yanomami, vio la luz: expulsar a los invasores era posible. La llegada de miles de buscadores de oro a mediados de los ochenta fue lo que le decidió a lanzar su lucha por la tierra: un 20% de los yanomamis desapareció en aquellos años ochenta como consecuencia de enfermedades que llevó el hombre blanco. Así arrancó su trayectoria, que le ha llevado a representar a los pueblos indígenas de la Amazonia ante la ONU y a codearse con líderes como Al Gore, el príncipe Carlos, o estrellas de la música como Sting. "Los famosos no resuelven nada", dice con tono firme y decidido, "escuchan, apoyan, pero se consigue más en la ONU".
Kopenawa saca de su bolso a rayas un estuche negro, lo abre. Mira fijamente la medalla plateada que hay en su interior: es la mención honorífica del Premio Bartolomé de las Casas que le ha concedido la Secretaría de Estado de Cooperación Internacional y Casa de América, el motivo que le ha traído por primera vez a Madrid. No puede apartar la mirada del metal.
-¿Por qué mira tanto la medalla?
-Recibirla es importante porque hace que la gente conozca mi lucha. Pero Omame [el creador] no permite que se extraigan metales de la tierra. La tierra es un lugar sagrado y protegido.
Minerales. El proyecto de ley del Gobierno brasileño puede abrir la puerta a la explotación minera. "La minería va a llevar a nuestras tierras a gente que mata a indios, que lleva bebidas alcohólicas y enfermedades de la ciudad. Va a traer carreteras, contaminación".
Kopenawa es consciente de que hoy en día su pueblo necesita del teléfono y de Internet para la lucha. Pero tampoco quiere que todos los jóvenes yanomamis aprendan a manejarlos. "Basta con que aprendan unos pocos, veinte o treinta personas. Tenemos que ir poco a poco. Si no, muchos querrán quedarse en la ciudad y no volver".
Defiende que la tierra no tiene precio, ni se compra ni se vende. "El hombre blanco nunca está tranquilo", analiza, "siempre está preocupado buscando dinero para pagar la casa".
-¿Y el hombre yanomami?
-El hombre yanomami piensa en estar tranquilo, sin preocupación, y en no pasar hambre.

Ecologistas de España y Gibraltar se unen para pedir al Foro Tripartito que trate la crisis ambiental en la Bahía

Tomado de:
La Asociación Gaditana para la Defensa y Estudio de la Naturaleza (Agaden), el Environmental Safety Group de Gibraltar, Greenpeace y Verdemar-Ecologistas en Acción Campo de Gibraltar anunciaron hoy que han presentado el documento 'Crisis ambiental y de salud en la Bahía' en el que ponen de manifiesto la "gravedad" de la situación sanitaria y medioambiental y señalan como una de las principales causas las "desavenencias" entre los gobiernos español y gibraltareño.
En una comunicado, las asociaciones ecologistas indicaron que la salud de los ciudadanos y el medio ambiente "son quienes pagan las consecuencias de los desacuerdos, décadas de dejadez y falta de cooperación entre Gibraltar y España", por lo que pidieron que para el próximo encuentro del Foro de Diálogo Tripartito se alcancen "acuerdos reales que subsanen esta situación límite".
A juicio de los ecologistas, "es imprescindible reducir y regular las actividades industriales y portuarias en la zona, para lo que es necesario acuerdos y coordinación entre España y Gibraltar, lo que evitaría accidentes y minimizaría su impacto en caso de producirse".
Además, indicaron que "esta coyuntura de desacuerdo hace olvidar a las administraciones que su responsabilidad es proteger la salud de las personas que viven en el Campo de Gibraltar y su medioambiente", por lo que "también son responsables de la grave crisis que sufre la bahía, y de llegar a un acuerdo que la solucione".
En este sentido, recordaron las "miles de toneladas de sustancias tóxicas al aire y agua de la Bahía" liberadas por las industrias, así como que el Estrecho de Gibraltar soporta el tránsito de más de 100.000 buques al año de los que buena parte recala en la bahía de Algeciras para repostar, principalmente por el procedimiento del 'bunkering', que implica cuantiosas fugas al mar de combustible.
Los ecologistas añadieron a este respecto su reclamación de que el fondeadero C en Algeciras sea eliminado, porque se encuentra en un parque natural, así como la actividad de las llamadas gasolineras flotantes de Gibraltar por el "gran riesgo" que entrañan.

Felonía y Rapiña… (Guayana Esequiba)

Tomado de:

Oswaldo Sujú Raffo
Publicado el 22 de June, 2009

Sin lugar a dudas lo que hoy sucede con nuestros hidrocarburos, crudos y refinados, no tiene otra nombre que felonía y rapiña… Es una felonía ó una traición a los intereses del pueblo venezolano, cuando se regala a priori nuestra principal fuente de divisas y se pone en riesgo, el futuro de los venezolanos que todavía no han nacido. Toda una perversa manipulación, llamada pomposamente “política de integración regional”, a espalda de los venezolanos. Dar nuestros recursos estratégicos por un apoyo solidario a un, personalista y desfasado, proyecto político con los aplausos y elogios que nutren el ego, en continuas asambleas internacionales, merece el mayor repudio por las implicaciones en el presente, y por las secuelas en el futuro cercano.
Es una rapiña, cuando países sin escrúpulos, algunos con animadversión manifiesta contra Venezuela, aprovechan el jolgorio “bolivarero” y en un escandaloso y grosero “festín de Baltazar”, disponen de nuestras riquezas petroleras, otorgadas de manera irresponsable y alegre en un nuevo estilo de “usura socialista”..
Nos preguntamos si existe algún ente o miembro de este régimen, con capacidad para opinar y advertir estos delitos de lesa Patria? La mayoría de los venezolanos, así estén recién salido de la “ Misión Robinson”, conocen la debacle de este gobierno totalitario y el reclamo, de lógico razonamiento : “ Claridad para la calle y oscuridad para la casa”, que resuena en los mas apartados rincones del país. Las familias venezolanas, las mas humildes sobre todo, no digieren ni asimilan ese slogan fatuo de “Ahora Venezuela es de todos”, claro es de todos, de todos los gobiernos chulos y vividores que se han pegado de esta teta petrolera, que tragan sin respirar y se ufanan de “negociar” con el gobierno más corrupto y botarata del continente.
¿A quien en su sano juicio, se le ocurre dilapidar diariamente importantes riquezas del Estado, olvidando sus propias y urgentes necesidades básicas, para favorecer la materialización de un proyecto comunistoide, rechazado en aquellos grandes países comunistas de otrora, por inviables y retrógrados?.
El tcnel. dictador se vanagloria de establecer convenios internacionales de intercambio y es común escuchar que se firmó un “acuerdo de integración, con ventajas recíprocas para ambos países”…
El mejor ejemplo de esto, es ese engendro llamado Petrocaribe, de mayor envergadura que los fenecidos proyectos “bolivareros” de:“La ruta de la empanada, los gallineros verticales, los fundos zamoranos. y los famosos cultivos organopónicos”, de inspiración cubana. Los veinte países de Petrocaribe, que desde hace meses disfrutan de las excentricidades del tcnel. dictador, se distribuyen diariamente doscientos mil barriles diarios de petróleo y derivados. Unos con mas agallas que otros, algunos mas favorecidos ( Cuba, Rep. Dominicana, Guyana). Son 200.000 barriles diarios, de crudos y derivados, pero resulta que para obtener un barril de derivados, se necesitan cuatro barriles de crudo, entonces la cuenta se incrementa .
Con elemental investigación se puede saber cuantos vivianes de Petrocaribe, reciben crudo y derivados, o ambas cosas. Multiplique usted esa cantidad diaria por 30 dias y a un precio de 64 US$ el barril, llévelos a bolívares ( débiles o fuertes) y tendrá una cantidad mensual de gran utilidad para la reparación de nuestros hospitales, escuelas, ancianatos, etc. Pero todavía falta, y nos llena de asombro y cólera las facilidades o el virtual regalo energético. De 20 a 25 años de plazo, para cancelar al uno por ciento y con dos “años muertos”.
A estas bondades, violatorias a nuestros intereses, nos responden con sorna y burla. Unos nos pagan con entrometerse, hasta en el W.C, en nuestros asuntos internos; otros nos pagarán con el uso de hoteles y toneladas de habichuelas (caraotas); otros con dulces y conservas de coco; algunos con nuez moscada y ocumo, con yuca, papas y ron, hasta con artesanía de conchas y caracoles…
Tremendo negocio, equilibrio e integración!! Pero lo triste es que Dominica niega nuestra soberanía en Isla de Aves, Barbados explora en nuestras aguas caribeñas y Guyana vende nuestro esequibo al Brasil. De todos estos vividores de Petrocaribe, solo Haití merece estos beneficios, por nuestra deuda histórica y por la miseria en que sobrevive.
¿Sobre esta felonía y rapiña, que hace el Contralor, la Fiscalía, el T.S.J y la “aguerrida” A.N ? ¿Es pedirle peras al olmo?.
Llueve y escampa en esta Venezuela tuya, mía y nuestra. La Patria es primero. Fuera los invasores y los vividores cínicos. Hasta luego.!!