On Thursday, February 16, the former president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, demanded that US President Joe Biden provide clarification around the freight train derailment in Ohio and the subsequent release of toxic chemicals. Morales also highlighted the environmental danger that this incident represents for not only the US but also the entire world.
“We demand that President Biden explain to the world the causes and consequences of the environmental disaster in Ohio,” Morales wrote on Twitter. “The release of industrial quantities of vinyl chloride and deadly chemicals will affect the lives of the people of the United States and the world’s ecological balance.”
Demandamos que el Presidente Biden explique al mundo las causas y consecuencias del desastre medioambiental de Ohio. La liberación de cantidades industriales de cloruro de vinilo y sustancias mortales afectará la vida del pueblo estadounidense y el equilibrio ecológico mundial.
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) February 16, 2023
According to information provided by the mayor of Ohio, Trent Conaway, a number of cars of the derailed train were carrying vinyl chloride, a highly toxic chemical. He also declared a state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of the local population.
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After the accident on February 3, the authorities carried out a “controlled release” of the spilled chemicals that included hydrogen chloride and phosgene, a poisonous gas that can be deadly when inhaled.
According to the US National Cancer Institute, vinyl chloride may cause blood or lung cancer if inhaled over a prolonged period of time. There is also a risk of the spilled vinyl chloride contaminating the region’s drinking water or continuing to mix with the local air. Phosgene gas, produced from the burning of the spilled vinyl chloride, was a common chemical used in biological warfare attacks during World War I.
In light of this disaster, Evo Morales stated that the US government, with its exaltation of dangerous capitalist policies, has become a real threat to humanity.
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“Instead of giving explanations, they are arresting journalists and trying to divert people’s attention,” Morales continued, referring to the detention of journalist Evan Lambert, who had been reporting from the site of the accident. “With its armed interventionism and its capitalist policies that contradict its environmentalist claims, the US government has become the greatest danger to the world and humanity.”
The train that derailed belongs to the Norfolk Southern Railway company, a private corporation owned by the notorious hedge fund Blackrock. In late 2022, US railway workers had been planning to strike, with one of their main grievances being the urgent need for safety improvements. However, the Biden administration, in its characteristic desire to prioritize profits over workers, intervened to stop the strike. The disaster in Ohio comes after several administrations, led by both democrats and republicans, have failed to fulfill their promises of improving infrastructure in the US.
(RedRadioVE) by Yucsealis Rincón, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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