17 May 2007

Agrarian reform Venezuela style...

Clash of Hope and Fear as Venezuela Seizes Land - New York Times

For centuries, much of Venezuela’s rich farmland has been in the hands of a small elite. After coming to power in 1998, and especially after his re-election in December, President Hugo Chávez vowed to end that inequality, and has been keeping his promise in a process that is both brutal and legal.

Mr. Chávez is carrying out what may become the largest forced land redistribution in Venezuela’s history, building utopian farming villages for squatters, lavishing money on new cooperatives and sending army commando units to supervise seized estates in six states.

The violence has gone both ways in the struggle, with more than 160 peasants killed by hired gunmen in Venezuela, including several here in northwestern Yaracuy State, an epicenter of the land reform project, in recent years. Eight landowners have also been killed here.

2 comments:

Carson Park Ranger said...

Land reform is needed all over Latin America, but violent resistance to it by land-owning families is assured.

ecoshift said...

You're right... some level of land reform is long overdue. Lula, in Brazil, has been putting off an effective response to the MST after many promises.

Chavez is pretty interesting. His military background and savvy may be partly why he has survived this long. I hope it doesn't also cause him to move too fast and too hard to accomplish this objective.

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Oh... thanks for the comment. You were the first person to post on this blog...