Sunday, 24 April 2011

Killing Venezuelan campesinos 12 years into Chávez's rule

Journalist Setty sent me an interesting article (in English) published in Venezuela Analysis some time ago about the killings of Venezuelan rural activists and the lack of response from the government. 

Venezuela Analysis is a site maintained by foreign lefties who are very much pro-Chávez. Lenin would have had a term for them.  Now: in spite of the site being pro-Chávez, some of the people writing there are idealists. Even if they very often just churn out articles based on propaganda feeds from Chavismo, they also get useful information from low level groups - not from the  powers that be -.

About 250 Venezuelan rural activists have been killed in the last few years and no one has payed for that. The article is about two of the last cases. Farmers link the security forces, the military, to the killers..."people from the IV Republic"...and the big landowners. This is year 12 of the so-called revolution. And which landowners are these? Are they all anti-Chávez or pro-Chávez or it's the same to them? I remember Chávez pal Rodríguez Chacín had a hacienda that is thousands of hectares big. Is he a landowner too? Is the owner of La Malagueña -whoever that is- a landowner? What is really happening with the land reform? How many farmers have their own land now and how are they using it?

In Monagas the governor,  a former AD politician who is now, as many others, a PSUV-man, and his brother, who is a mayor of one of Cedeño municipality, have been repeatedly associated with big landowners who have been attacking farmers. The ones saying that are farmers and low-key political activists.

Land tenancy in Venezuela is still, after several "land reform processes" through the decades, in a feudal state. It is time for the alternative forces to develop solutions to this problem and approach the hundreds of thousands of people who for so long believed Chávez could deliver.

I wonder who is up to the job...bringing about justice and sustainable development in those regions won't be an easy task.

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