Eco-friendly Venezuela? The false image of the Venezuelan regime in the face of COP28

Eco-friendly Venezuela? The false image of the Venezuelan regime in the face of COP28

Published on 29 Aug 2023

The amplification of a lie in social media

The world’s environmental alarm bells are ringing. The high temperatures registered in 2023 have led the United Nations to declare that we have gone from “global warming” to “global boiling”. In view of this, the Venezuelan regime has already started a campaign to wash its hands of responsibilities, in spite of the constant denunciations of international organizations and national NGOs on the management of environmental policies in the country.


While from the Ministry of Communication and Information (MIPPCI) tags such as #VenezuelaEcológica are promoted with messages alluding to the supposed care of the planet by the government of Nicolás Maduro, oil spills are spreading and the deforestation of the Venezuelan Amazon is a fact.


Once again, the communicational narrative of the Chavista regime is imposed in X (former Twitter), as a prelude to the next COP28 Climate Change Conference; which will begin on November 30 in Dubai and where Maduro expects to participate.



The amplification of a lie through #VenezuelaEcológica (Eco-friendly Venezuela)


Last August 17, MIPPCI positioned in X the hashtag #VenezuelaEcológica, with the message “The environment is a miracle that must be taken care of!”. The tweet was accompanied by an excerpt from Nicolás Maduro’s television program in which he received workers from the Ministry of Ecosocialism who showed him a species of turtle to exhibit the diversity of Venezuelan fauna.


“How many years has this species been in Venezuela?” asked Maduro. “Uff… a long time ago”, the representative of the ministry answered without precision.


Since the early hours of the morning the hashtag began to have activity, #VenezuelaEcológica (Eco-Friendly Venezuela) was quickly positioned by chavista troops in a context in which it was not explained that the turtle that was in front of the camera of the state channel VTV is in the Red Book of Venezuelan Fauna.


Nearly 114 thousand tweets were generated in the midst of the well-known operation of the tweeters of the homeland, who replicate the hashtag dictated daily by the MIPPCI, without contributing almost any valuable content to the conversation.


From ProBox we managed to study at least 1,000 messages with the trend, finding that about 41.1% of these were inorganic (generated by possible automated or inauthentically coordinated accounts). In addition, we detected the participation of at least 365 accounts and 25 possible bots.


Let’s talk about turtles


Of the seven species of sea turtles that exist on the planet, five are found in Venezuela. All of them are in danger of extinction and are registered in the Red Book of Venezuelan Fauna.


In a report published in El Diario, Alejandro Gallardo, a Venezuelan graduate in Biology and member of the environmental NGO (Provita), stated that in Venezuela there are no real State policies that help to protect the environment in general.


In the case of the turtle shown in Maduro’s television program, the situation is not at all encouraging. The arrau turtle species is not part of the marine species, but is still endangered.


The Arrau species is widely distributed in the Amazon, Orinoco and Esequibo river basins but is considered Critically Endangered by the IUCN Species Survival Commission Freshwater and Terrestrial Turtle Specialist Group.


Extinction of the Arrau Tortoise is caused by lack of public policies


The main factors leading to the extinction of the arrau turtle in Venezuela have to do with lack of public policies.


  • Consumption: The main cause of the decline of this species has been the consumption of adults, hatchlings and eggs. Evaluations of turtle consumption in the villages near the Refugio de Fauna Silvestre de la Tortuga Arrau (RFSTA) in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008 have determined that of the three species consumed, the arrau represented between 72% and 78%, of which nearly 95% belonged to the juvenile and subadult classes, which indicates that the replacement generation of this species was depleted due to human consumption practices. This cause is related to poverty in the area, which leads the population to increase its consumption.
  • Habitat degradation: Contamination of the rivers in the Orinoco basin is a reality due to the low percentage of sewage that is treated, in addition to the exploitation of the Arco Minero that also contaminates the rivers with chemicals.
  • Illegal sale: Poverty is one of the main factors that threaten the species, and in rural areas there is generally a higher poverty rate, so fauna is used as a source of economic income.



Chavismo’s campaign for COP28 and the reality that propaganda pretends to hide


The Government’s discourse is prepared to prepare the ground for the next COP28 Climate Change Conference, which will start in Dubai on November 30. Already at COP27, Chavism showed its communicational reach to misinform and wash its face by calling for the protection of the Amazon from savage capitalism.


The narrative promoted by chavismo at COP27, held in Egypt, was clear: capitalism is the only one to blame for the environmental crisis, the Amazon is a vulnerable territory affected by the interests of capitalism and Venezuela is a victim country and not a promoter of pollution.


But the discourse not only took place in Egypt, but also moved to Twitter. Where the Tuiteros de la Patria (Twitter users of the Homeland) managed to insert their propaganda in the conversation of the global trend COP27.


23% of the retweets to the COP27 tag were made to accounts linked to chavismo and the retweets went to the accounts @nicolasmaduro @VTVcanal8 @mippcivzla and @presidencialven.


In view of this narrative, experts differ, and very much so.


“We can affirm that today for today the Venezuelan Amazon is under enormous climatic pressure, which is at the same time, social, ecological and economic that endangers life… The approval and implementation of the so-called Arco Minero del Orinoco (AMO), has meant the dramatic acceleration of the destruction of huge territories delivered to the extreme voracity of groups without any scruples.” Observatory of Political Ecology of Venezuela.



Venezuela’s ecological panorama



What is happening to the turtles is only a small sample of what is happening to the fauna species in Venezuela.


The aggravation of oil spills, the “destruction” of protected areas, particularly in areas of “elite tourism” projects, as well as deforestation, added to the impact of illegal mining in the south of the country; as well as insecurity and water injustice, are some of the socio-environmental problems that the Observatory of Political Ecology of Venezuela breaks down in its annual report.


“The Venezuelan State did not address the fundamental socio-environmental impacts. Moreover, the problems and conflicts derived and associated were largely exacerbated, seriously compromising the vital network, due to official policies that have systematically promoted extractivism, formulating projects of which no details are published, establishing territorial enclaves and infrastructures that facilitate their expansion, without regard to the laws and regulations that stipulate procedures and standards of social and environmental protection,” the report states.


In the face of the grave ecological reality in Venezuela as reported by non-governmental organizations that study the issue in the country, the narrative of the Maduro regime remains the same: Chavismo is building an ecosocialist state.


For more information on socio-political manipulation in social media platforms you can follow us everywhere as @ProBoxVE.

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