CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
Ending the year, the Barrosos No. 2 well, located in La Rosa field, western Zulia state, blew out. As a result, a deep economic change affecting the social and political life began in Venezuela. Juan Vicente Gómez ordered to release a number of political prisoners to mitigate people's annoyance at the appointment of two vice-presidents, the dictator's brother and son, under the constitutional reform. Gómez was elected President of the Republic
March 24th was a landmark in a long debate that took almost
100 years -from 1833 to 1941- concerning demarcation of borders
between Venezuela and Colombia. That day, a Swish arbitration
board issued an award in favor of Colombia to ratify a Spanish
arbitration award of 1891. Six years earlier, in 1916, both
Venezuela and Colombia appeared in the European court to know
whether the Spanish award ought to be partially or fully implemented.
This was because there were still multiple doubts and Venezuela
maintained that milestones should be placed only in those
sites with absolute certainty.
In the opinion of Ambassador Leandro Area, ex director of the Pedro Gual Institute of Higher Diplomatic Studies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Venezuela could have been better off had the Pombo Michelena Treaty of 1833 been initially accepted. The Venezuelan Congress had run counter to it for thinking that territory was being lost.
However, between the Spanish and the Swish awards another event shortened the borders -the so-called Castillete Act. Ambassador Area recalled that a Colombian-Venezuelan team explored in 1900 the area in order to locate a milestone which identified the borders, according to the Spanish award. It was the Los Frailes landmark. "That team of technicians, engineers and topographers, riding on a mule and short of money, continuously regretting that they were not paid and at a time where there were no roads, could not find the Los Frailes landmark. And to get out of a spot, they decided that Castillete was the site defined in the Spanish award. Therefore, in 1922 the beginning of the border in Castillete was just ratified." Should they have continued at Cape La Vela, ongoing discussions on demarcation of the sea and undersea waters had ceased.
While the borders shortened, nearby, on the eastern coast of Lake Maracaibo a deep change occurred in an agricultural and cattle breeding Venezuela. There was a strong blowout that lifted as a high as 450 meters a stream of oil at the Barrosos 2 field, located in La Rosa oilfield, south of Cabimas municipality. The field threw for nine days more than one million barrels of oil. From that moment on, a shift in the Venezuelan economy would also change the social and political routine. Only in a six-year period, Venezuela became the largest oil exporter in the world.
In Egypt, English archeologist Howard Carter found on November 26th the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen, the first of its kind that was found undamaged, free from the looting by treasure hunters. The world was dazzled by the astounding wealth, such as the spectacular funerary trousseau. One of the largest artistic treasures of humankind, the discovery helped solve some mysteries about the ancient culture and way of living.
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