Skip to comments.Venezuela's ranchers warn against arming peasants
Posted on 02/22/2010 8:32:07 PM PST by La Lydia
CARACAS -- President Hugo Chavez's socialist government is creating peasant-based militias throughout Venezuela's rural, agricultural-rich regions, raising fears of confrontation among the country's cattle ranchers and landholders. The armed groups, organized by Venezuela's military, will be responsible for protecting poor farmers from vigilante groups allegedly organized and financed by cattlemen and wealthy landowners, Chavez wrote in a newspaper column Sunday...
The government claims that more than 300 peasants have been killed - purportedly by mercenaries for wealthy landholders - since authorities launched a sweeping land reform initiative in 2001. Landowners and cattle ranchers dispute those claims, saying Chavez's administration is wrongly attempting to vilify them as a means of gaining political clout among the country's poverty-stricken farmers...
"We've never sought paramilitary groups to protect ourselves," said Manuel Heredia, president of the National Federation of Cattle Ranchers, which represents approximately 20,000 ranchers....
It's unclear exactly how many peasants have been killed in recent years... Prosecutors have not recently released information incriminating ranchers associations or their members in the slayings of peasants.
Heredia noted that violent crime is widespread throughout Venezuela - even in remote, rural areas and border regions where Colombian rebels and paramilitary groups operate - and that ranchers themselves are increasingly becoming kidnapping victims. Close to 100 cattlemen have been abducted during the past two years, according to the ranchers federation. Many ranchers suspect that Colombian guerrillas are responsible...
Jose Luis Betancourt, a cattle rancher on the sun-baked plains of Barinas state, urged the government to take measures to guarantee the security of all those who work in the countryside, not just peasant groups that support Chavez..."The security forces that already exist should provide security for all of those in the countryside."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Fidel or Mugabe, take your pick.
That is exactly what I was thinking. Totalitarians think alike.
Civil war coming.
“Sir the peasants are revolting”
“You said it — they stink on ice!”
I hope not, but they would be entirely justified. I am sure that possibility is one of the reasons Chavez is arming the peons.
Oh, most sane people believe Mr. Heredia. And Chavez certainly believes him, too, which is why Chavez is so free to do whatever to them. If they're lucky, it won't go beyond taking their farms.
Maybe they should think about forming paramilitary groups, eh? Sadly, it's a bit late for that, and they're now in the position of fighting with no hope of victory (see Churchill) if they fight at all.
I think Hugo is getting weaker. He will have to seize these ranches and “redistribute” the land to the “masses”. Which means food production will drop 80% from them.
You are 100% right.
Hugo is getting weaker politically, one of his own partys’ Governors is switching to a junior coalition party. He will have to do something about that sleight.
I read 4 or 5 Venezuelan blogs, I am sad that way.
Isn’t that how it always works?
Gov’t always points to business or the wealthy and promises the poor...we want to protect you from the evil, selfish, fat cats...we will take from them and give to you!
The poor never get anything near what the gov’t promised and usually find themselves worse off, gov’t sure benefits though.
Chavez, the true evil, fat cat will get richer & fatter; as he sits and watches the sweat and blood of the people, waging war amongst themselves, in a puppet show he directs.
If there were poor before, there will be many more now and their country will take much time to recover, should they get it back and try to return it to something similar or better than pre-Chavez.
I can’t believe Hollywood fools run around thinking these evil leaders are wonderful...giving legitimacy to them.
Hollywood should be exiled to live in the places that they think so vonerful, perhaps then they might not be so quick and elitist in their ‘superior’ judgment.
They help enable the suffering of people in their worship of dictators.
Venezuela is degenerating. It will soon resemble Cuba.
More like Zimbabwe.
Don’t worry. Danny Glover and Sean Penn and Oliver the movie producer and Susan Sarandon will be down their to entertain the militia.
How about redistributing the wealth of Hollywood liberals to the nearby ghettos of central and east Los Angeles? Just like they advocate doing in Venezuela!
Alas, they only wish to give away what is not theirs.
I have no respect anymore for the wealthy in this country or the big multi-national oil companies. It’s been way long over due for them to cap this clown and they have not.
Coming soon to the USA!
Yup, and if the great zero has his way, so will we.
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