Venezuelan Crisis: Destroying the Amazon and the Pemon People to Sustain the Maduro Regime
- This event has passed.
Venezuelan Crisis: Destroying the Amazon and the Pemon People to Sustain the Maduro Regime
11 June @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The unfolding crisis in Venezuela represents a major challenge not only for the country’s citizens, but also for the international community. Venezuela is facing economic collapse on a scale unprecedented for a country not at war; the IMF forecasts that inflation will reach 10million% this year. Some Venezuelans have responded by emigrating, leading to one of the largest migration flows in Latin American history; Venezuela’s diaspora is now estimated to represent around 15% of its total population. President Maduro’s regime has been in a downward spiral for years, but it has recently begun to pose a threat to regional stability.
Much has been said these past few years about drug tracking, human rights abuses, and lately the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, but sadly little about the disaster in the Southern region of Venezuela makes it to the mainstream media and social media. Historically, this region has alternated between neglect and attention on the part of Venezuelan rulers. During the past 20 years, the Chavista regime has shown fluctuating levels of attention, particularly when both Chavez and Maduro were keen to find new sources of money. During this period, the government has tried to implement 6 programs in partnership with various countries – the latest one being the Arco Minero plan announced on February 24, 2016 – to exploit the vast gold, diamond, coltan and other mineral reserves. The results have been catastrophic for the region, its people, and the environment and will probably have tragic lasting – if not irreversible – effects on Venezuela and beyond.
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to join a panel discussion with Diego Aria, former Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations Ambassador, and Kukuy, a representative of the Pemon tribe. The panel will discuss the growing political discontent in the country, highlighting the devastation of Venezuela’s Amazonia and Orinoquial peoples and the threat to regional peace and security posed by President Maduro’s regime.
Ambassador Diego E. Arria is a Venezuelan diplomat and politician with a vast work experience in Venezuela and abroad. He served as a Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations, as well as President of the UN Security Council. He was also a founding Editor of El Diario de Caracas, Governor of Caracas, Congressman, and Minister of Information and Tourism, as well as a Special Adviser to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Ambassador Diego E. Aria also served on the board of the International Crisis Group; at the Council on Foreign Relations of NY as a Diplomatic Fellow; in the International Peace Institute, and as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. He is currently on the Board of the Museum of Art and Design of New York, and on the Advisory Boards of the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C.
Kukuy is a Venezuelan from the Pemon tribe in the Amazon. He is currently studying Security Management in Finland. He speaks fluently several languages and has a long professional background in tourism, starting as a local tour guide at his hometown and becoming a specialized Tour Leader of Venezuela.
Lord Waverley is an independent member of the House of Lords, entering the United Kingdom Parliament in 1993. He has contributed regularly to Parliamentary proceedings on a wide range of topics and addressed many challenging issues of the day, travelling extensively. He founded & chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Groups for Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) in addition to heading the regional Central Asian Group. He has observed national elections on behalf of the Commonwealth.
On Tuesday 11th June 2019, the Henry Jackson Society was pleased to welcome Ambassador Diego E. Arria, who served as a Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations, as well as President of the UN Security Council, and Kukuy, a Venezuelan from the Amazonian Pemon tribe, to discuss the unfolding crisis in Venezuela. They were joined by Baroness Kishwer Falkner and Dr. Alan Mendoza. The discussion was centered on the violence and oppression imposed on the Venezuelan people by President Maduro’s regime. It was passionate and impelling dialogue on the reality of the violent crisis.
After introductions, Kukuy began the discourse by discussing the oppression that his people, the Pemon tribe, and those in Venezuela’s Amazonian region, in general, were enduring. Specially, he discussed how the implementation of Maduro’s gold exploitation initiative, Arco Minero, was devastating the environment in the Amazon and forcing the regional tribes into mining work. The tourism market had previously sustained the region, but now this market is obsolete, forcing the Pemont people in to dangerous gold mining labour. Kukuy stated, “the Pemont are victims of a cruel regime.” On the environment, Kukuy discussed how his people’s ancestral lands are becoming contaminated and depleted of natural resources. He mentioned, “I am here to bring this message to create awareness…We need stronger partners, governments, NGOs, to help us in this fight.” Kukuy emphasized that as long as Maduro’s regime is enthroned, the environment and the living conditions will get worse.
Second to speak, Ambassador Arria, emphasized the need for international support. He also highlighted the oppression endured by the Venezuelan people. He described how many Venezulans have no food, no water, no electricity, no medicine, etc. A migration of four million Venezuelans in underway, three million of them being children. Arria said that Venezuela is receiving very little international support. The UN has not intervened nor has Spain, who has an obligation to help because of its historical ties with the country. On the topic of support from the Trump administration, Arria said, “You may like him or you may not like him, but President Trump has helped us more than any other American president.” Arria emphasized that the help Venezuela is receiving isn’t sufficient to dismantle the regime. Arria and other advocates for Venezuela in the audience felt that it was “encouraging to be here in London in the Parliament” to advocate for international support.
At the conclusion of the event, Kukuy was asked what his main demands would be from the Venezuelan government. He replied that the Pemont wanted, “the right to [their] land, help from the government and to stop all this environmental damage.” The obvious human rights abuses conducted by the cruel Madero regime must be stopped. The events highlighted firsthand experiences of the devastation imposed by the Maduro regime. The HSJ was delighted to have hosted this event in Parliament and to have given a voice to the people that the regime continues to suppress.
According to Elif Shafak, culture and literature matters. It becomes especially relevant in the age of populism, pessimism and political … Continued
The unfolding crisis in Venezuela represents a major challenge not only for the country’s citizens, but also for the international community. … Continued
As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the events culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4th 1989, it is important to note … Continued
As the strategic environment changes, planning for state-on-state military confrontation has re-emerged. Non-state actors – perhaps assisted by revisionist powers … Continued
The BJP had an impressive victory in the 2019 General Election, emerging as the single largest party garnering more vote … Continued
In the twenty-five years after 1989, the world enjoyed the deepest peace in history. In The Rise and Fall of … Continued
In recent times, national populism has been on the march in much of the Western world. 2016 was a year … Continued
Twenty years after NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia, the Western Balkans countries are beset by economic, political, and social uncertainty. The … Continued
In light of the publication of the Modernising Defence Programme in December 2018, which recognised the emergence of a more … Continued
The relationship between Russia and the West is once again deep in crisis. A major reason for this is that … Continued
The special relationship is under strain. President Donald Trump’s unorthodox approach to foreign policy together and the uncertainty caused by … Continued
On March 29, the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution 2367 on sexual violence in conflict. Questions have been raised, … Continued
In late 2013, the People’s Republic of China began building and fortifying islands across a number of reefs in the … Continued
The Wealth Effect: How the Great Expectations of the Middle Class Have Changed the Politics of Banking Crises
The rising wealth of middle class households and voters has transformed the politics of banking crises. At this event, Jeffrey … Continued
In the state elections in December 2018, the big loser was the BJP, which had won 62 of 65 Lok … Continued
Belarus has received increased international attention over recent years, much of which has focused on Russia’s ambitions towards the country. … Continued
With returning IS fighters and uncertainty over Brexit, concerns surrounding human rights, civil liberties and national security have never been … Continued
Putin’s Hostages: Ukrainian Political Prisoners of the Kremlin is a documentary about the roughly 70 Ukrainians political prisoners incarcerated … Continued
In the eyes of many, the prospect of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is diminishing. With peace talks … Continued
Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, on ‘Preserving the Freedom of the Asia Pacific’
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to host Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Former Australian Prime Minister, for a special event chaired … Continued
Five years ago next month, Russia annexed Crimea in the first forcible annexation of the territory of a European country … Continued
Western liberalism is under attack, not only at home also but from newly-emboldened authoritarian states abroad. Across the West, states … Continued
Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces, the … Continued
Though mankind has traded tangible goods for millennia, recent technology has changed the fundamentals of trade, in both legitimate and … Continued
China’s Belt and Road strategy is acknowledged to be the most ambitious geopolitical initiative of the age. Covering almost seventy countries by land … Continued
Why Middle Eastern Jewish Refugees Are Key to Understanding and Resolving the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Jews lived continuously in the Middle East and North Africa for almost 3,000 years. But in just 50 years, indigenous communities … Continued
India and Turkey were the two exemplars of twentieth-century ‘secular states’ outside of the West. Professor Sumantra Bose believes that … Continued
The political events of recent years have sent shockwaves throughout the established order of Western liberal democracies. Election after election … Continued
Prof. Andrew Lambert’s new book, Seapower States examines how Britain and four other seapowers used their special identities to inform … Continued
Dave Rich’s updated edition of The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism (2018) contends that antisemitism is a … Continued
Moneyland is the secret country of the wealthy and unscrupulous, the place where they put their assets, their children and … Continued
The Afghanistan War has now lasted for 17 years, and estimates suggest has cost the US government upwards of $750 … Continued
The Middle East remains one of the most tumultuous regions in the world today, with its many ethnic and religious … Continued
The past 18 months have seen an immense amount of economic, diplomatic, and even military activity relating to the Korean … Continued
As one of al-Qaeda's most respected bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore … Continued
The most dangerous threat we face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal … Continued
SPEAKER: Professor Carl Minzner, author, End of an Era China’s reform era is ending. Core factors that characterised its political stability, … Continued
SPEAKERS: His Excellency Renato Carlos Sersale di Cerisano - The Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Dr. Shimon Samuels - … Continued
SPEAKERS: Dr Michael Green - Author of By More Than Providence and Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair … Continued
In the midst of some great changes in the international system, countries have been left with the qaundry of how … Continued
SPEAKER: Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat The destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 shocked the … Continued
SPEAKERS: Humphrey Hawksley, author of Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion ; Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow … Continued
PROFESSOR NIGEL BIGGAR, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, Oxford University, in conversation with Douglas Murray The nation-state is … Continued
SPEAKER: EHUD OLMERT, former Prime Minister of Israel It’s been 10 years since the last meaningful peace deal was put … Continued
Whatever one’s feelings toward the outcome of the 2016 US elections, there can be no doubting the historic impact and … Continued
As Britain considers its relationship with Europe, European security has never been more precarious, with Russian revanchism on the rise … Continued
As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, geopolitics is returning to the European continent. Germany and France are squabbling … Continued