Argentina-US oil deal triggers clashes

Violent clashes have broken out on the streets of Argentina due to an agreement authorizing a major US oil company to extract natural resources in the South American country, Press TV reports.

Activists clashed with police in the capital city of Buenos Aires on Wednesday, as some 5,000 demonstrators protested against a possible accord between US oil giant Chevron and state-owned energy company YPF.

The deal would enable the American company to exploit the Vaca Muerta oil and gas region in the Southern province of Neuquen.

Å“Chevron is the standard oil, one of the largest oil companies and the first to steal resources of developing nations. It is the continuation of the same policy with a different name. Chevron faces lawsuits because it has destroyed everything in its path. People have the right to know who they are dealing with,” said Sergio Garcia, secretary of the Argentine Workers’ Central Union (CTA).

In July, Argentina’s Supreme Court lifted a freeze on Chevron assets in the country, paving the way for the US supermajor oil giant to push ventures into Argentina.

Government officials defended the move, saying the agreement will boost oil and gas production.

Meanwhile, the protesters said the agreement challenges Argentinaâ„¢s sovereignty, and called on President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to strengthen ties with other independent allies.

The energy deal has further drawn harsh criticism due to concessions the Argentine government has reportedly given in order to make it acceptable to the US-based Chevron Corporation.

Å“Chevron has a history of human rights abuses and environmental damage. It represents US imperialism. The agreement says if Chevron causes environmental damages, it will be the YPF that will have to pay for it,” said Jose Castillo, head of the Socialist Left Party.

Additionally, the activists condemned Chevronâ„¢s drilling practices or fracking, arguing that it poses serious threats to the environment and local communities.

Å“What REPSOL did before, Chevron will do now. That means contamination of our natural resources and serving the interests of transnational companies…The project will destroy the countryâ„¢s largest freshwater basin. Water is more important than oil, and that is what these people are worried about,” said Julio Fuentes, secretary of the Association of State Workers.

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Republished from: Press TV