A storage tank remains on fire in Venezuelan Amuay oil refinery, of the Paraguana Oil Refining Complex, on August 26, 2012.
Venezuelan President Chavez said responding to US media and opposition charges that the explosion and ensuing fire at the Amuay oil refinery was due to government negligence.
Only 43 days before the Venezuelan presidential election and with President Chavez leading by a persistent margin of 20 percent, an explosion and fire at the Amuay refinery killed at least 48 people - half of those were members of the National Guard - and destroyed oil facilities producing 645,000 barrels of oil per day.
Immediately following the explosion and fire, all the mass media in the US and Great Britain, and the right-wing Venezuelan opposition launched a blanket condemnation of the government as the perpetrator of the disaster accusing it of “gross negligence” and “under-investment” in safety standards.
Yet there are strong reasons to reject these self-serving accusations and to formulate a more plausible hypothesis, namely that the explosion was an act of sabotage, planned and executed by a clandestine group of terrorist specialists acting on behalf of the US government. There are powerful arguments to sustain and pursue this line of inquiry.