On Friday, September 30, President Nicolás Maduro reported that managers of state-owned companies PDVSA and Corpoelec, plus military group , had been arrested for being involved in gasoline traffic to Colombia.
During the first International Meeting of Workers that was organized in Caracas, he said that his government will continue with the anti-corruption policy that it carries out.
For his part, Freddy Bernal, who serves as Táchira state protector , explained that in joint operation with other state security agencies, a criminal gang dedicated to illegally commercializing gasoline was dismantled.
Since last year, Venezuelan Government has implemented different measures to counteract Venezuelan gasoline smuggling into Colombia.
Since then, the General Staff, directed by Bernal, has broken up several bands that were engaged in the traffic of fuel, food and strategic material, including a cell of the Colombian narco-paramilitary band Los Rastrojos.
All this we add the attempts to create a scenario of irregular violence and gandolas theft by political party Poder Popular in the state of Táchira, as Bernal recently reported. Everything to create a breeding ground that serves border chaos on Venezuelan land.
Pueblo del Táchira, una vez más la diputada @gabyarellanoVE pretende sumergirnos en la violencia y el caos, ¡no lo permitamos! por nuestra paz, por nuestros hijos. Allí les dejo un chat filtrado por un militante de Voluntad Popular. pic.twitter.com/uMGeRsz4G7
— Freddy Bernal (@FreddyBernal) September 2, 2019
MILLIONARY LOSSES BY EXTRACTION OF ENERGY RESOURCES
Venezuela loses more than 7 billion dollars annually due to gasoline smuggling . This represents about 7 thousand 58 million liters per year, refers a note published in this medium. Almost the total of this amount indicated leaves the country for the 2 thousand 219 kilometers of border shared with Colombia.
The lack of social care policies by Colombian government in border states, makes fuel smuggling, among others, a profitable activity.
According to a survey conducted by the National Administrative Department of Statistics (Dane Entity responsible for planning, surveying, processing, analysis and dissemination of official statistics of Colombia.), Cúcuta is positioned as the city with the highest informal economy rate in the country. Likewise, it registered an unemployment rate of 10.7%, rising compared to what was registered last year, says La Opinión.
In Colombia, the fuel has an average cost of 2 370 370 pesos per liter, according to the last increase registered in that country.
That amount transformed into bolivars is an astronomical gain if one takes into account that the cost of gasoline in Venezuela is 1 and 6 bolivars.
COLOMBIA LEGALIZES GASOLINE CONTRABAND
these two facts is added legalization of the centers for gasoline collection extracted from Venezuela under the figure of “cooperatives”, a policy implemented by former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez and continued by the two presidents who precede it.
The irony is that these “cooperatives” that supply Cúcuta gas stations with Venezuelan fuel, see the sale of Venezuelan gasoline in plastic gasoline container as illegal.
When the culture of smuggling is installed for so many years and the Colombian government assumes it as a state policy, it`s difficult to specify where the illegality is.
Sold through cooperatives or plastic gasoline container`s, Venezuelan fuel is indispensable for the economy, mobility and subsistence of those living in border municipalities.
CÚCUTA DEPENDS ON VENEZUELA
Dependence on fuel and Venezuela, has been evidenced on several occasions. Each time the Executive of that country applies a measure that interferes with the smuggling of gasoline or closes its borders, a collapse is experienced in the border cities of the neighboring country.
When President Maduro made the decision to break all kinds of relations with Colombia in February this year, long lines at the gas stations were registered in Cúcuta.
Y ahora en Cúcuta también hay colas por combustible. ¿La razón? Argumentan usuarios que la gasolina de contrabando venezolana está más cara y/o que los venezolanos sacan la gasolina colombiana de ese país. Trabajo de Noticias Caracol. Video cortesía de Sara García. pic.twitter.com/Lktyq5MSzf
— Los Madrugadores. (@JorgeArrietaFM) May 23, 2019
This is due, in the first place, to the fact that Colombia cannot fuel its border states due to the cost of production and distribution.
On the other hand, oil reserves in that country are depleted and it is calculated that by 2020, according to data provided by the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH), “it will require almost total importation of fuel.”
FROM THE VENEZUELAN SIDE
For Venezuelans living in the border states, fuel transfer to the Colombian side is also attractive.
In recent years, the imposition of a price of the dollar through markers that operate from the United States and Cúcuta, has caused many Venezuelans to find a way to fight the economic war imposed by taking gasoline, food, medicines, among others, to Colombia to multiply its value immediately.
This practice has an impact on inflation that is recorded throughout the country.
For many years, Venezuela has paid the consequences of the armed conflict and the neo-liberal policies applied in the neighboring country.
Beyond the political and territorial border between Venezuela and Colombia, in the border cities of both countries there is an economic and cultural exchange that makes divisions difficult.
This exchange has been maintained despite commercial and diplomatic ruptures, even with the total closure of the borders.
THE WAR AGAINST VENEZUELA
Now, in the search for solutions to the conflicts that occur in that area, Venezuela not only seems to be alone, it also has to deal with the terrorist policies that Colombian State exercises against Venezuelan sovereignty.
Since the unilateral blockade imposed by the United States intensified, Colombia has been one of its main allies.
When the president of the National Assembly (declared in contempt according to the Supreme Court of Justice), Juan Guaidó, proclaimed himself as president of Venezuela, President Iván Duque was one of the first leaders to join the orchestra.
Subsequently, Duque lent his borders to perform the Venezuela Aid Live concert, organized by billionaire Richard Branson, to collect funds that would be destined to those displaced by the “Venezuelan crisis.”
The concert was to serve as a preamble for trucks entry with “humanitarian aid” to Venezuela and triumphant return of those displaced by the war.
As a measure to protect the country, President Maduro made the sovereign decision to close the borders and with that , intended to sell media was demolished.
So far Colombia has functioned as a base of operations to plan the attacks against Maduro, including the one that was closest to materialize on August 4, 2018.
Colombia has also been a refuge for Venezuelan politicians requested by justice, and the deserting military who seek to form an irregular army and take power by force.
AN INVESTMENT TO THE FUTURE?
In May of this year, Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo demanded more resources to address Venezuelan migration crisis, because, until that moment, “he had only received 21% of the promised funds.”
According to the EFE agency, that nation has received 228.1 million dollars of international cooperation, a figure that the foreign minister described as “insufficient compared to what other nations receive.”
Meanwhile, he argued that the aid requested by the UN for Syria and Africa was 5.6 and 1.4 billion dollars respectively.
Given the panorama in which Colombia is, it`s not unreasonable to think that joining the orchestra against Venezuela could generate future profits, if its dismantling by the United States global prey is consolidated.
Contrary to the situation in which its oil industry is located, Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world.
Either by the displacement of those fleeing the Colombian armed conflict for more than 50 years, or those who have sought a better quality of life, Venezuela has welcomed about 6 million Colombians in its territory, a figure reiterated by President Maduro Recently.
The president argued on that occasion that, contrary to the media campaign, Colombians still displaced by paramilitaries, drug trafficking and the neoliberal policies of their governments continue to arrive.
The smuggling of gasoline and other items, the inability of the Colombian State to combat this crime in its territory, the attack on the national currency at the border, and serve as a base against political stability, are part of the multiform war against Venezuela.
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