The lavish celebration of a birthday party at the top of Tepuy Kusari, within the Canaima National Park, in the Venezuelan Amazon, has caused a serious stir and triggered a wave of criticism in national public opinion. Environmental groups have protested the damage that can be caused by a party that included the installation of tents to spend the night and arrivals by helicopter to the protected area. Canaima, one of the most valued tourist destinations in Venezuela, was declared a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The birthday boy was Alejandro Oliveros Russián, a businessman linked to tourism, owner of important developments in the area, in addition to Isla de Margarita. The guests, about 20, arrived at the intricate area by helicopter. The social chronicles highlighted that the dress code for men was a formal dress suit and for women, a long suit. was served fondue and soup goulash. As evening fell, she toasted herself with champagne. The levels of criticism for the celebration have been so high that the attorney general, Tarek William Saab, who is often quick to catch scandals on the networks, announced an investigation into possible environmental damage as a result of the meeting.
The tepuis are gigantic plateaus with steep slopes and flat tops, with a delicate and almost unique ecosystem of fauna and flora, considered one of the treasures of the Amazon. These are ancient geological formations, unique in the world, belonging to the so-called Guayanés Massif. Only extreme athletes and climbers reach its entrails. Most of the tepui that exist in the world are in Venezuela. In the Auyantepuy Sound, the largest of all, is the Angel Falls, the highest cascading waterfall on the planet.
The pageantry of the festival at Tepuy Kusari, or Cerro Venado, has been the subject of much criticism. In recent years, the Venezuelan Amazon has been violated by the deepening of mining activity, promoted by the Government of Nicolás Maduro with the support of the Armed Forces. This has caused serious damage to river headwaters and environmental destruction. The jungle areas of the Canaima National Park, threatened in this voracious extractive environment, constitute an exotic rest destination symbol of tourism premium dthe country.
The NGO SOS Orinoco declared that the event constitutes “an abuse against the country’s ecological heritage.” “On Friday, February 4, a private overnight party was held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the general director of Camp Canaima, at the top of Kusari Tepuy (Cerro Venado), located just in front of Laguna de Canaima. This type of activity in National Parks, even more so, in a World Heritage site like Canaima, violates the regulations that are designed to protect the ecological fragility of this unique place on the planet,” they add.
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Journalists, politicians, environmental activists, cartoonists, writers and academics, some from exile, have fiercely criticized and ridiculed this costly social event, whose staging takes place in a turbulent and crisis national context. Karen Brewer -daughter of the famous explorer and naturalist Charles Brewer Carías- issued an indignant statement on social networks: “Our indigenous people have mercury in their bodies. The Orinoco Mining Arc [el proyecto extractivo de Maduro en la zona] it destroys our ecosystems, destroys biodiversity and pollutes our rivers. We are witnessing the destruction of our country by greed and indifference. We are obliged to understand the consequences of this ecological, social and cultural crime.”
Oliveros Russián, a businessman without political militancy, is a relative of Clodosvaldo Russián, who died a few years ago, a historical militant of the Venezuelan left and comptroller of the Republic in the times of Hugo Chávez. Oliveros has served as a representative of the tourism sector in the so-called National Council of Productive Economy, organized by Miraflores with the business community in recent years.
Those attending the Tepuy Kusari party were almost all personalities from the world of fashion, businessmen, social communicators or influencers. Among them was Osmel Sousa, the famous beauty czar, national celebrity and for decades head of the highly successful Miss Venezuela organization.
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