NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • True Cost of Chevron in Angola


    Sizaltina Cutaia, Program Manager at Open Society Institute in Angola on the impact of Chevron -   July 5, 2012
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Multipart Episodes

    Fossil Fuel
    True Cost of Chevron


    Audio

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook



    the name says it all...real news - yusuf
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Sizaltina Cutaia
 serves as Program Manager for the Open Society Foundation in Angola. The Foundation is one of the few civil society organizations in Angola dedicated to the promotion of democracy, good governance and human rights. Ms. Cutaia has been with the organization for six years. She leads the organization’s grantmaking and development of strategic initiatives aimed at addressing political, social and human rights issues in Angola. The Foundation is one of the few civil society organizations in Angola dedicated to the promotion of democracy, good governance and human rights. Ms. Cutaia has been with the organization for six years. She leads the organization’s grantmaking and development of strategic initiatives aimed at addressing political, social and human rights issues in Angola. Prior to joining Open Society Foundation/Angola, Ms. Cutaia worked at the National Democratic Institute where she focused on technical assistance in electoral and democracy issues, including the training of national observers and civic education promoters in electoral law and human rights. Ms. Cutaia has a BA in Business Management from the PC Training & Business College in South Africa.

    Transcript

    True Cost of Chevron in AngolaPAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.

    On May 30, the Chevron annual shareholders meeting took place in a community named San Ramon just outside of San Francisco. Protesters outside and inside the shareholders meeting—and many of them came from around the world to talk about what they said is the true cost of Chevron.

    Now joining us is one of those protesters, Sizaltina Cutia, from Angola. She's a program manager at Open Society Institute in Angola and works on human rights issues. Thanks very much for joining us.

    SIZALTINA CUTIA, PROGRAM MANAGER, OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE: Thank you for having me.

    JAY: So tell me, why did you travel so far to go to a Chevron shareholders meeting?

    CUTIA: Because there are some things that need to be told, some truth that need to be told to Chevron's shareholders. For years and years Chevron has been operating in Angola, and it is operating in an irresponsible way as far as the environment is concerned, and while throughout—all along it claims to be respecting laws in countries. So that's why we traveled.

    JAY: So what are examples of what you're talking about?

    CUTIA: I'm talking about the environmental law. Chevron is responsible for constant oil spills in Cabinda, where they operate offshores. The practice that they do is that they do not report on those spills. And when—the way the communities get to hear about it is through the fishermens. They are the ones that are reporting on the oil spills. When Chevron does report, which is not a very common thing for them to do, they never take responsibilities; they blame it on other companies. And that is affecting the livelihood of those communities.

    JAY: And how is it affecting it, and to what extent?

    CUTIA: To the extent that accessing resources is becoming very difficult. You know, Chevron has got too many platforms in the seas. So right now, the fisher communities are fighting to access those resources. It's difficult for them with the boats they use for the fishing, which are not very sophisticated. It's difficult for them to go further into the sea. And Chevron's operation prevents them from accessing some [fishing zones].

    The other thing has to do with the impact that the spill has into the sea livelihood. Accessing the fish is difficult, and people are—get in contact with contaminated fish. These are some of the impacts that are having at—that Chevron's operations do have in communities in Cabinda.

    JAY: Now, I guess Chevron would argue that they pay some kind of royalties to Angola and that the Angolan government should be responsible for these problems.

    CUTIA: That's true. Chevron does pay money to the Angolan government. But, unfortunately, Angola is regarded as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

    And, also, the problem that we have right now is that there is not much available information on the amounts that are paid. And Chevron has been one of the companies that advocates for the secrecy of the amount of money that they pay to the Angolan government. That's also an issue. It's an issue to the extent that being oil the backbone of the Angolan economy, it's very important that there is transparency in the way that its money is handled, in order for the people of Angola to benefit from the resources.

    So Chevron is currently—two years ago, the United States department adopted a law which mandates companies that are registered in the United States to disclose the payments they make to governments, governments such as Angola and Nigeria and other governments. Well, Chevron is being one of the—is being—advocating very heavily to weaken that law. And the allegations that they're using is that that law goes against the Angolan legislations. Well, that's not entirely true. So the fact that Chevron refuses to release, to disclose information is also something that has an impact in the way issues around corruption and transparency are dealt with in Angola.

    JAY: So Chevron's argument, I guess, is also that they do follow Angolan law, and as long as they do, what's the problem? I mean, I guess your answer to that is that it's—I mean, when you say that corruption's—is the problem, so these laws don't get enforced, whose fault is that?

    CUTIA: The power that the oil has. Oil companies—you know, Chevron is a very powerful company, and oil dictates a lot in terms of—as far as politics are concerned. So when Chevron practices secrecy in terms of providing information, it is not helping, it's not contributing, also. I think when Chevron says, "We agree," when Chevron says that it cares for communities, it should—I think it should be acting, conducting itself in a way that it helps communities, that it helps countries and citizens to benefit from the revenues of this, of the soil and of the waters and of the country.

    So it's not entirely true that they do follow the legislation, because they do pollute the sea, they do pollute the areas where community live, and that violates the environmental laws that we have in Angola. It's true that we—the state has got very limited capacity also to monitor the enforcement of such laws. But it is also true that Chevron is in bed with a corrupt government, and it is contributing for the entrenchment of that authoritarian and corrupt government that we have in Angola.

    JAY: Alright. Well, thanks very much for joining us.

    CUTIA: Okay. Thank you.

    JAY: And thanks very much for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Protesting GM Auto Workers Attacked by US Embassy Staff
    The Life and Times of Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture in the Black Panther Party (3/3)
    G-20 Recommits to Lifting Private Sector Activity 2/2
    Obama Unveils Immigration Plan, But What Will It Change?
    TRNN Replay: Immigration Reform Requires Dismantling NAFTA and Respecting Migrants' Rights
    TRNN Replay: Why Do Mexican Workers Head North?
    TRNN Replay: Do Undocumented Workers Take Jobs and Lower Wages?
    Study Finds Racial Profiling Persists in Toronto Despite Ban
    G-20 Recommits to Lifting Private Sector Activity
    Who Is In Charge of Development: The Elite or the Majorities? (1/2)
    Swedish Court of Appeals Rule to Continue the Detention of Julian Assange
    TRNN Replay: Do Undocumented Workers Take Jobs and Lower Wages?
    TRNN Replay: Founding SNCC and Taking on Mississippi - Bob Moses on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    The Power to Create Money in the Hands of the Banks
    TRNN Replay: The Respectable Face of Terror - Robert Moses on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Animal Agriculture: A Neglected Agent of Global Warming?
    Despite Senate Vote on Keystone XL, Tar Sands Oil Will Still Reach the Gulf
    Seattle Begins Police Reforms in Wake of Federal Civil Rights Investigation
    TRNN Replay: Bob Moses on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    All Eyes on Ferguson as Gov. Nixon Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Grand Jury Decision
    The Life and Times of Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture in the Black Panther Party (2/3)
    G20 Summit Failed to Seriously Address Global Problems
    TRNN Replay: Glen Ford on Reality Asserts Itself
    Who is Behind the Ousting of President Compaore in Burkina Faso?
    Investigation Uncovers "Culture of Impunity" for Chicago Police Department
    TRNN Replay: Bob Moses on Reality Asserts Itself
    RAP NEWS 29: The G20 with Tony Abbott - Feat. Senator Scott Ludlam
    Critics Say DC's 'Model' Police Review Board Can't Stop Abuses
    $4.3 Billion Fine for Fraud in Exchange Market Manipulations is Pittance for Major Banks
    Obama Administration Leaves Door Wide Open for Torture to Occur Again

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting