Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Venezuela's Militia of Peasants Operational as of December by Ernesto J. Tovar

Pro-government lawmaker Braulio Álvarez urges people to establish “people’s courts.”

Agriculture and Lands Minister Elías Jaua warned about a fight with “guns and swords in hand” (File Photo)

The Venezuelan government decided to create groups that respond ideologically and militarily to the orders of President Hugo Chávez in order to fight violence in the countryside.

On Thursday, during a rally of the Simón Bolívar National Front of Peasants and Fishermen, held in the city of Calabozo, state of Guárico, Elías Jaua, the Minister of Agriculture and Lands, said that "by December we will have established the Bolivarian Militia of Peasants, the Ezequiel Zamora Fighter Corps." Jaua added that the militia will work "within the institutional framework of the Armed Forces, without anarchy and under the control of Commander Hugo Chávez."

"We will start training (the militia) next week. We will establish some centers in the farms that have been seized, in the Zamoranos farms (named after Ezequiel Zamora, a leader of the Venezuelan Federal War) and in the fields and plants that have been seized, to defend the farmers and the fatherland, if necessary, against the imperialist occupation," said Jaua, who was in the event as Minister and Vice President of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) for the Venezuelan plains region.

Armed Warnings

Minister Jaua warned, "Do not make us march with rifles and swords in hand. If that is the way they want, we are willing to take the challenge and fight against the landowning oligarchy; they should understand (the situation) and take responsibility before history for the path they want to take."

He stressed that land rescue has taken place "pursuant to the Lands Law and the Constitution." Jaua stated that the landowners "have the right to go to court (to decide on the legality of land rescue operations). However, violence is not the way."

Jaua urged "the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) to act against the impunity affecting Venezuelan peasants. The end of impunity is the only guarantee of peace in the countryside."

"We are going to establish national militia and people's courts. We are going to put an end to the practice of hiring hit men. We are determined to become prepared for fighting and reaffirming the production process in Venezuela, said lawmaker Braulio Álvarez.

Further, Orlando Zambrano, a leader of the Simón Bolívar National Front of Peasants, said, "We must solidify the militia – the people's armed power- to defend ourselves. We are voicing anger, joy and willingness to advocate Commander Chávez."

Minister Jaua said that the government decided to seize the farm La Carbonera, and the temporary occupation, with a possible expropriation, of the coffee roaster located in the same farm.

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