Shocking footage from Cabimas, Venezuela, on Thursday showed the streets flooded with crude oil amid heavy rain. Reports suggested the crude oil was pumping through the city’s water pipes.
According to local journalist Lenín Danieri, the spillage contradicted statements made by local mayor Pedro Duarte that all oil spills had been repaired. Like most incumbent politicians across the country, Duarte is a close ally of socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro and a member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
Hace dias el alcalde @pedroduartech dijo que los derrames petroleros en #Cabimas se habian reparado. La ciudad está repleta de agua y petróleo. Las mentiras tienen patas cortas. pic.twitter.com/ykgzYWmi1L
— Lenin Danieri D (@LDanieri) September 2, 2020
“Days ago, the mayor Pedro Duarte said that the oil spills in Cabimas they had been repaired,” Danieri wrote, accompanied by footage of the latest spillage. “The city is full of water and oil. Lies have short legs.”
El Pitazo, a local outlet, reported after three hours of heavy rain that streets, shops, homes, cars, and even hospitals were left underwater by the overflowing of streams and the collapse of the sewage system. While some reports indicated that pipes somehow ended up spilling oil into the streets, other pipes apparently collapsed, sending their contents to the surface.
Many people have since had to leave their homes and sleep out in the open, and doctors were forced to cancel medical procedures. The local fire service was also placed on alert after many trees and roofs collapsed on buildings with people inside.
“Every time it rains what we feel is fear; we are desperate,” a local 90-year-old woman told the outlet. “The authorities say nothing, even though children and the elderly live here.”
#Zulia | Habitantes de Cabimas y Ciudad Ojeda reportan inundaciones en vías, viviendas y comercios debido a lluvias este #2sep. También desbordamiento de drenajes -vía @mayrethc https://t.co/OIOOyzlrOh pic.twitter.com/RIJBRJO70M
— El Pitazo (@ElPitazoTV) September 2, 2020
Such disastrous incidents are now commonplace in Venezuela, where economic meltdown and political corruption overseen by the socialist regime has led to the almost complete collapse of the country’s infrastructure. As well as extreme poverty, some of the challenges faced by Venezuelans on an everyday basis include the failure of water systems, nationwide blackouts, and a lack of access to living essentials such as food, medicine, and hygiene products.
Despite having the largest oil reserves in the world, a collapse in production has also led to widespread shortages of gasoline, with the regime unable to afford and consequently import sufficient quantities from allies such as Russia, China, and Iran. The shortages have become so severe that recently the state of Táchira suspended the sale of gasoline altogether, a situation that if prolonged would have led to the complete collapse of civilization altogether.