What follows is a contribution by Armando Armas, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Venezuelan National Assembly and Honorary Member of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law “Marco Pannella”, published by La Patilla, on China’s interests in Venezuela and the key role of knowledge and information in particular during the COVID19 crisis.
MPs of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Sovereignty and Integration of the National Assembly, the one and only legitimate Parliament of the Republic of Venezuela, recently held a debate session on the position that the ad interim government of Juan Guaidò should take vis-à-vis the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), one of the most important allies of the regime of Hugo Chavez and of today’s Nicolas Maduro.
Analyzing Chinese interests in Venezuela, Armando Armas, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, highlighted the CCP’s intention to promote the “Belt and Road Initiative” as the cornerstone of its global hegemony strategy and how Venezuela occupies a fundamental place within the strategic economic development plans of communist China.
According to the Venezuelan democratic Member of Parliament, the Asian country’s interest in Venezuela stems from its geopolitical position and its geo-economic relevance, because “Venezuela holds huge quantities of raw materials essential for the production of assets necessary to the construction of infrastructures and high-tech assets”.
In this respect, Armas points out, much of China’s interests in Venezuela are directed to the minerals in the Arco Minero (huge territory including the Orinoco Basin and the Venezuelan Amazon) such as coltan, the so-called “blue gold”, of which Venezuela holds the second largest reserve in the world, and a key ingredient for the development of the technology used in telecommunications; the same territory of the South American Republic also hosts the second largest uranium reserve in the world, and is also rich in thorium.
“This mineral is a radioactive chemical element defined as ‘clean nuclear fuel’, extracted from two deposits in Venezuela: the largest one is located in Cerro Impacto (Amazon region), the other in the Cojedes State, in El Baùl (northwest). Apparently, this mineral too is a primary interest, possibly a priority, for the Chinese Communist Party”, Armas says.
Social control and Chinese censorship in Venezuela
The Venezuelan MP also underlined the Chinese backing of efforts to impose control and censorship in the Venezuelan society. Armas says it is the Chinese company ZTE that provided the support to the regime of Caracas in developing and implementing the “Carnet de la Patria” and the social control system which has enabled the whole project. Finally, Armas underlined the grave emergency Venezuela is currently facing, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. A crisis quickly seized by the regime to enforce a model, borrowed from communist China, of authoritarian censorship and denying the pursuit of the truth as well as public trust and knowledge; a model at odds with democratic countries, such as Germany, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, where access to information and transparency have proven fundamental ingredients for any plan aimed at containing and defeating the spread of the pandemic.