However, Molina claims that once Rangel Gomez became State Governor "it was easier for him to bury the dirt and hide the corruption." He adds that it was a $200 million company sold for $40 million.
"Because they have been so behind schedule, what the government is waiting for is for the people at Crystallex to put all together and begin operation. On the other hand, many local people have criticized (the project) and dispute the sale of Las Cristinas to KRY and the price at which it was sold."
"The Venezuelan government has made sure that every single international and company that wants to invest in Venezuela, must also provide a social aspect besides the investment. It (the government) appears to be welcoming, and needs, Crystallex' social push and help ... however, the people, and the local politicians are NOT going to allow ANY transnational to do anything until they meet the required social aspects. This looks like the main reason for the delay for Crystallex to begin its work mining at Las Cristinas. This and also the recovery of mine tailings (residue) has been a major concern for the environment people."
Sanchez: Do you think that this can come to a conclusion soon?
Deputy Molina: "You must take into account that Venezuela is living through an important moment in its history. Legal stability in Venezuela doesn't guarantee protection for any investment ... either for national or international companies. There's no guarantee for anyone's investments, or property. I have my doubts, but I hope that Crystallex will NOT be held up by the new government policy of state capitalism ... there might be a very small, yet real chance, that the administration is looking into just paying them off, like the just recently did with the cement company. It is NOT that I doubt the function of Crystallex in Bolivar State, but with the recent attitude of the State, I hope that Crystallex will begin its work. However, if there's a movement where the locals want it to be in hands of the 'communes' (community councils), then, with a stroke of a pen, it will also be "expropriated."
Sanchez: Can this really happen ... is this why the delay?
Molina: "You have to really think about it, and see the actions being taking by the State ... look how they take the concessions from companies without problems ... look how the State took the right of independents to transport gasoline."
Sanchez: What advice do you have for Crystallex and it's investors.
Molina: "They have to push and make sure that there is a huge social component. Highlighting the positive that they can make within the popular sectors. And even though they have NO guarantee that the state might takes them over too, at least it will give them the opportunity to secure, somewhat, their investments. However, they must make sure that they tell everyone about it!"
Late Friday afternoon, Crystallex International's vice president of investor relations, A. Richard Marshall has just contacted VHeadline to clarify that the Toronto (Canada) based company is "in frequent contact with the relevant government agencies and senior officials involved in mining in Venezuela and believe Las Cristinas is on the right path that should lead to the issuance of Environmental Permit and construction phase which should generate great employment and benefits for the region, local communities, Venezuela, stakeholders and shareholders."
VHeadline's John Sanchez will be ventilating further developments in the Las Cristinas Saga on Monday's edition of the VHeadline Venezuela Newshour to be broadcast on the American Voice Radio Network (AVRN) at 1.00 p.m. Eastern, 10.00 a.m. Pacific.
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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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