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150 years since the murder of Ezequiel Zamora, the struggle for land continues in Venezuela

By staff |
January 15, 2018
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On Jan. 10, the Rural Gayones Movement issued a statement, provided below, to commemorate the 158th anniversary of the murder of Ezequiel Zamora, a compatriot of Simón Bolívar and a supporter of radical land reform.

Over the course of the Bolivarian Revolution, hundreds of thousands of acres have been redistributed to campesinos. Much still needs to be done to free the land in order for its cultivation to meet the people’s needs. The Rural Gayones Movement is one of many revolutionary organizations in Venezuela, and their demands, listed below, have wide support among the rural working class and campesinos.

This article was translated from Spanish by Fight Back! staff.

On Jan. 10, 1860, General Ezequiel Zamora was killed by a bullet fired from a church belfry, while laying siege to the broken remnants of the conservative oligarchy’s army in San Carlos, Cojedes. The federal struggle by a popular campesino insurrection sharpen the contradictions at the heart of Venezuelan society, which at that point was one where power was held by a minority of property-owners and large landlords, to the exclusion of the great masses of peasants, campesinos and the poor.

The murder of Zamora was the result of a plot set by the conservative oligarchy and traitorous elements in the liberal ranks. Today, 158 years since the murder of the General of the Sovereign People, the Rural Gayones Movement remembers the mission of the campesino struggle against the rancher oligarchy, the same oligarchy which today is the bourgeoisie that preys on the people. We remember the validity of the campesino struggle for the land, for their rights, for food and the cultivation of the countryside.

In commemoration of this anniversary, it is necessary to carry out measures in the method of class struggle, to intensify the deepening of contradictions in the dependent capitalist system that continues to exist in our country. We begin the new year in the midst of a complex and interesting scenario, one signaled by a profound crisis that is no longer only economic, but extends to all facets of society. It is in the face of this crisis, when so many diverse actions and measures are taken, that confirms to us that the only exit from the crisis is the Revolutionary Exit.

The working class, the campesinos and the communes must definitively and directly take into our hands, without intermediaries or bureaucrats, control of each one of our areas of action. We must learn from the knowledge and experience of the people’s organizations the practical and concrete methods to defeat the capitalist usurers, thieves and speculators with their private control over the means of production, in order to leave the crisis with the popular democratic bases directed to socialism.

Therefore, it is necessary:

1. To eliminate the landowning class and hand over of the land, the large agricultural companies and units of production to the workers and campesinos for their administration.

2. To centralize production and distribution of food by means of AGROSUR and the Agro-Corporation with the objective of guaranteeing strategic entries.

3. To launch a revolutionary offensive of a popular-democratic character, where the exploited classes and particularly the working class and poor campesinos take direct and immediate control of the productive processes, namely the ports, airports, transport networks, storage facilities, customs offices and foreign imports businesses, that will be placed under state ownership and worker-campesino-communal control, utilizing diverse sectors to achieve economic sovereignty.

4. To establish a National Center of Food Distribution by means of popular organs such as the communes, trade unions, workers councils and campesino councils.

5. To fortify public services in the rural zones in order to eliminate the differences between the city and the countryside, to improve living conditions in the rural zones and stimulate production.

6. For the state to guarantee the development of production in an organized structure alongside of cooperatives and other social economic forms.

7. To stimulate production via state companies, cooperatives, campesino councils, campesino production and large collective farms.

8. To cut off the supply chains between small producers and consumers, eliminate the intermediaries, which are the principal usurers that escalate the cost of food that reaches the people.

9. To facilitate access to credit, capacity and quality technical assistance, in accord with the national reality, to regions and poor and medium campesinos, adjusting the national development plan.

10. To develop the fishing, agro-industrial and agricultural industries, in order to achieve sovereignty by means of agricultural machinery.

11. To foment investigation in the agricultural and fishing industries focused on the production of seeds and agricultural consumption. To endow the nation with the means to produce the food, machinery and equipment needed to achieve sovereignty. It is necessary to combine technical knowledge with the immense energy of the working class and the campesinos in order to defeat the threats coming from different centers of imperialist power, especially the United States. This requires the creation of a structure that industrializes the countryside, incorporating advances in science and giving value to ancestral knowledge and the innovation of the people.


Long Live Worker-Campesino-Communal Unity!