CARACAS, Wednesday November 21, 2012 | Update

Gov't takes action to clear Venezuelan ports

Authorities avowed stumbling blocs stemming from growing imports

Measures will apply until December 29 (Photo: Cruz Sojo)
Wednesday November 21, 2012  12:44 PM
The Venezuelan Ministry of Sea and Air Transport is to take special steps until December 29 to clear the ports of La Guaira and Puerto Cabello, ranging from extended business hours in public banks to relaxation of the road transport of containers on Sundays, to the haulage of empty containers to areas outside the port.

Vice-Minister and Vice-President of Bolivariana de Puertos, Pedro Castro, informed after a meeting with the members of Asonavieras; the National Customs Intendent, Elpidio Pérez Chirinos, and the Vice-President of the Foreign Exchange Management Committee (Cadivi),
Víctor Flores, that beginning on Thursday, state-owned banks of Venezuela, Treasury and Bicentenario will work until 6:00 pm, Mondays through Fridays, and until 3:00 pm on Saturdays. All of these agencies will be open to receive the payments for the appropriate tariffs or taxes and accelerate in this way the nationalization process.

Furthermore, an agreement was reached with the Ministry of the Interior and Justice to grant until December 29 the circulation on Sundays of empty containers, "taking into account that shipments will be extended to Saturdays and containers can return to the port of origin on Sunday," Castro elaborated.

Castro conceded that presently 10 vessels are waiting their turn to enter the port of La Guaira, and additional 18 in Puerto Cabello.

"Increasing imports in the advent of the Christmas season and physical decrease by 35% of the storage capacity in the port of La Guaira, measured at 4,000 containers, have brought about troubles in load management. Therefore, we are implementing these measures."

Translated by Conchita Delgado
This is all there is

A simple reason: there is oil galore, would suffice to explain Guyana's actions. Another explanation lies in the little or none efforts made by the Venezuelan government to thwart the move by the Guyanese. This is certainly not a new problem, but a problem only recently highlighted because oil is involved. But what other resources does the disputed area hold? For most of us it is a section on the map with black and white stripes on it, a depiction of something distant, alien, a nothingness not worth paying much attention to in geography classes back in elementary school.

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