Yes I’m all Venezuela all the time these days. There was a big, horrible oil spill in a Venezuelan river Feb. 4. I never finished any of my posts about it, and now Gustavo at Caracas Chronicles has a decent roundup of the current situation.
I would only add that whether the water is potable or not is just one of the big questions. Other issues include the cooperative cover-up efforts by the state oil company and its supposed regulators at the oil and environment ministries; the apparent lack of environmental monitoring of the river to, for example, count dead birds or evaluate whether endangered species were affected; and most of all, the continued politicization of what should be a general, apolitical task of the state — assuring a clean environment.
For those who haven’t seen it, I call your attention to this series of statements on the PDVSA website:
Feb. 5: Contingency in Jusepin doesn’t put the community at risk
Feb. 12: [Environment Minister] Alejandro Hitcher: “There’s no environmental disaster”
Feb. 15: PDVSA continues Guarapiche River cleanup
Feb. 16: PDVSA advances in Guarapiche River cleanup
Feb. 20: Guarapiche River cleanup in final phase
Feb. 20: More than 17 million liters of water distributed in Maturin communities
Feb. 24: Guarapiche River cleanup enters final phase (deja vu!)
March 1: Environment Ministry: Guarapiche River is in excellent condition
And this one, on the new leak in Anzoategui:
Feb 28: In record time, PDVSA controls leak caused by sabotage (which concludes, unsuprisingly, by saying that the cause of the leak wouldn’t even be examined until cleanup was complete, rather throwing into question the claim of sabotage)