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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - A strip of Venezuela's western coastline boasting pristine beaches and fragile ecosystems such as mangroves and coral reefs could take more than half a century to fully recover from the environmental impacts of a recent oil spill, a researcher said.

The country's opposition-controlled National Assembly last week opened an investigation to determine the causes and consequences of the oil slicks that began washing up on the Caribbean coast of western Falcón state in early August.

“We project that the negative consequences on ecosystems and their components could last for 50 years or . . .

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