Saturday, August 15, 2009

14th August, 2009.

It's hardly credible that the weather could be so different!! Rain, mist and, around 1700 hours , the Postie arriving like a wet sponge! Had all this been yesterday it would have been tractors and 4WD's called in to clear the car park!!

Working on the adage that , if it's fine then you're out, if it's wet and really horrible , get the fire in and play catch up with all the outstsnding jobs! Such was today, one of paper and computer work!

Recently some disappointing news has come in from my contact in Venezuela. Apparently Chavez is , in effect, closing down the country with a whole series of totalitarian laws and actions. Seizure of property, as I reported on previously, threats to State employees, new education laws are all now part of the upheaval affecting the country. It shouldn't be forgotten that there are many who will favour such actions given raised aspirations for an improved lifestyle and, in many respects, I can understand and fully support initiatives aimed at improving the social and economic conditions of people less well off . Sadly it's the methods employed that appear to let down the resolve!! The seizure of Hatos El Cedral and El Frio, both designated Important Bird Areas, with a future intention of putting both areas under rice cultivation is disappointing at best. International NGO's appear to be showing no interest , which is probably understandable given Venezuela is outside of any "network" within which they can exercise any influence.

One can only hope that, in future times , this independence, born of a Cuban model (?) , will see the same maturity emerge that affected the latter island wherein tourism , and birdwatching in particular, brought about a renewed vision of its natural habitats and the part they could play in the economy. Having said that, I see various trips are still being advertised by "Bird Tour" companies to Venezuela , so all is not lost quite yet.

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