During a press conference held by Venezuelan Vice President for Economy Tareck El Aissami, the details of the attack on the Amuay refinery, part of the Paraguaná Refining Center (PRC) located in Falcón state, were disclosed. Although the terrorist act is still under investigation, it is presumed that the explosion was caused by a missile, launched from an unmanned aircraft or from the sea.
Tareck El Aissami, who also serves as the Minister for Petroleum, assured that the magnitude of the explosion was determined by the thickness of the refinery’s steel sheets. He also reported that a technical investigation committee was appointed, studying the missile’s point of origin.
El Aissami denounced that in recent weeks there have been a total of eighty-seven attacks on the electrical system in Falcón state, which feeds this plant, one of the essential units because it generates one of the components necessary for the production of gasoline, BGO.
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“This fact is not unrelated to the arrest of a US citizen, named Matthew John Heath, on September 11, who was prowling around the refinery, in possession of a grenade launcher-type weapon (AT4). In addition, different pouches of explosive material (C4), satellite telephones, and other weapons of war were seized,” said the vice president.
In an analysis of the event by Telesur journalist Madeleine Garcia, it was mentioned that the tower affected by the explosion has an entrance hole and an exit hole, reinforcing the thesis of a missile attack. She also mentioned that the unit itself was undergoing maintenance and that Venezuelan authorities are still looking for the rest of the missile or projectile used for the attack.
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Many analysts compare this situation to the recent Yemeni attacks on two Aramco refineries in Saudi Arabia in response to indiscriminate attacks by the Saudis on Yemen. In that incident, the day after the attack Saudi authorities presented evidence of the drones used for the attack. Some chavista social media influencers recognized that the US would have the capacity to cause and incident like the one in the Amuay refinery and leave a minimal trace, but also highlighted the importance of showing evidence of a missile to appease skeptics.
Venezuela is the victim of a clear and openly announced unconventional war promoted by the United States. Sanctions and blockades are affecting Venezuelan oil refining capacity and Maduro’s administration has initiated a technological shift in order to be less dependent on US parts and technology. For that, Iran has been a key ally, providing technological expertise to facilitate the technological shift.
3) De cualquier manera, sería un batacazo que el gobierno pudiera encontrar cualquier resto del misil. El año pasado no se mostraron evidencias de los ataques al Guri que causaron los apagones, lo que causó que muchísima gente ponga en duda los mismos.
— Luigino Bracci Roa #ArreglenElMetro (@lubrio) October 30, 2020
“Whether an explosion due to maintenance work, due to a direct terrorist attack, or the direct work of US imperialism, the Venezuelan government should be very straightforward about the information they provide in order to avoid anything that might be used by mainstream media to discredit—even more—the government of Nicolás Maduro,” a political expert told Orinoco Tribune.
Featured image: Photo courtesy of AVN
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