Exceptionalism Talk Reminiscent of Nazi Rhetoric Before WWII:
'US will not be able to hide the truth about Chevron’s oil disaster’
While responding to questions about Chevron-Texaco’s oil damages in Ecuador, Correa said that the US would not be able to hide the truth - despite having money, power, and hundreds of lawyers by its side. “Chevron has caused irreparable damage to the Ecuadorian jungle,” the president said. “Texaco did nothing to clear the area…At the time, there were cleaner technologies available, but they wanted to save a few bucks, and they destroyed the environment and did not even bother pay for the damages.”
Correa pointed out that the scale of the disaster in Ecuador is 85 times higher than the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and 18 times higher than the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. “But they decided that if it happened in the Amazon region of Ecuador, then there is nothing to worry about.”
The case against Chevron-Texaco has been ongoing for two decades, and stems from the oil company’s operations in the Amazon, which date back to the period between 1972 and 1990.
In February 2011, a judgment by a provincial court in Ecuador produced a multi-billion dollar award against Chevron. However, as the company currently has no holdings in Ecuador, the plaintiffs have instead attempted to force payment in Canada, Brazil, and Argentina.
The $19 billion verdict was the result of a 1993 lawsuit filed in New York federal court by a group of American attorneys – including Steven Donziger - on behalf of 88 residents of the Amazon rainforest. In the intervening period, Texaco was acquired by Chevron in 2001, and plaintiffs re-filed their case in Ecuador in 2003.
For its part, Chevron insists that it was absolved of responsibility for the environmental damages by a 1995 cleanup agreement. The oil company places responsibility for the damages on Petroecuador, Ecuador’s national oil company.
At the end of September, Ecuador’s foreign ministry announced that the US had seemingly denied visas to a delegation that was set to travel to the UN General Assembly in New York to present their case regarding an ongoing dispute against Chevron-Texaco.
According to the ministry’s official announcement, visas for the five Ecuadorian nationals were returned by the US Embassy in Quito “without any explanation.”
The group was to present testimony during a special event at the UN regarding the ecological impact caused by Chevron-Texaco’s oil operations in the Amazon rainforest region of Ecuador, which contaminated two million hectares, according to the country’s government.
This article was originally published at RT
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