A source at Venezuela's Environment (MinAmb) Ministry who requested (obviously) that s/he should not be identified, says that the barrage and the abuse has reached intolerable levels and that, if anything, it tends to have a "retro effect" on any official's willingness or otherwise to deal with the issues raised. A similar situation prevails at Venezuela's Basic Idustries & Mining (Mibam) Ministry where, nowadays, even legitimate press enquiries are hung-up on or simply ignored.
The pattern is a repeat of what has been experienced by a number of Canadian and United States print newspapers that beat a hasty retreat from any coverage of Venezuelan mining stories simply because once the newsprint hits the stands or the Internet, they can be sure of a deluge of demanding queries and throwaway insults when reporters fail to respond immediately to the most outlandish of quests for details.
The problem appears to be a heightened expectation among North American investors that the companies in which they invest should be at their beck and call for every jot and tittle of information that may (or more often may not) affect their investments and the situation is not helped any in the proliferation of financial gossip forums on the Internet which are invariable used by nefarious and anonymous posters attempting to spread fear or unrealistic expectations in a calculated though highly immoral (perhaps even criminal) effort to scare or attract unwitting investors into making false investment decisions on which they (the criminals) can callously profit, often greatly, in day-trading.
Recent international speculation in oil futures, for example, has sent the price of oil soaring to almost $150 and speculators seem to be willing to the world hostage to higher prices while Venezuela and other oil producers are paid only a fraction of the per barrel prices quoted in New York or London. President Chavez has sought to fast-wire the speculators by promising Spain direct deliveries of crude at $100 a barrel and this has sent the New York/London speculators almost into a nervous breakdown as they envisage an early pruning of their ill-gotten greed.
While North American shares in gold-mining stocks have plummeted on the back of Venezuelan intransigence over environmental and other issues, there is little sympathy for the investors in the Venezuelan ministries involved with regulations and permitting ... especially since their email boxes get flooded, their telephones get rung off the hook and their telefaxes go into terminal overheating from non-Spanish-speaking gringos prone to premature ejaculations on gold that have less to do with concern for thousands of impoverished Venezuelan workers than their incessant lust for gold.
Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.
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