By Glorimar Fernandez, additional reporting by Carlos Camacho in Caracas.
Food and other humanitarian aid to attend the crisis in Venezuela could be being deviant on the illegal gold mines to support the Nicolas Maduro regime, the Brazilian Foreign Office, and the Venezuelan ambassador in Brazil stated Thursday.
Brazil only recognizes National Assembly lawmaker Juan Guaido as acting President of Venezuela and has denounced and opposed to the Maduro regime.
After a debacle in the oil industry, Maduro turned to gold in 2016, something that generated violence and ecological disasters in the pristine Amazon, shared by several countries, including Venezuela and Brazil.
The Brazilian Foreign Office, located in the historical Iramaraty palace in Brazil, expressed: “We are following with concern the illegal mining activities in the Venezuelan Orinoco region, not only because they serve as financial support for the illegitimate regime in Venezuela, and represent an environmental tragedy, also because the impacts affecting the entire region,” the office said in a press release.
Belandria denounced the situation this week in a radio interview, Agenda da Semana, saying almost all of the food trucks with Brazilian aid entering Venezuela through Santa Elena de Uairen got diverted to the gold mines.
In interviews, Belandria has said: “It goes straight to the mines. This food does not reach the rest of Venezuela. What worries us most is that all exploitation of the mineral is illegal. The Venezuelan National Assembly, the only legitimate power recognized in Venezuela, has decree that says that all gold extracted from the mines is illegal material, not authorized by the government of Venezuela, represented by Juan Guaido.”
Despite the pandemic, Brazil agreed to allow a humanitarian corridor in March for food. Border sources tell El Pitazo that up to 70 trucks enter through the humanitarian corridor every day.
“Itamaraty shares all the information it has with the Brazilian federal agencies to investigate possible links between Venezuelan illegal mining and national food exports,” the Brazilian Foreign Office added.