Saturday, September 24, 2005

Fascist, or Fair Deal. 

President Hugo Chavez as we all know has instituted a national land reform bill. Incorporated within the regulations that make up the entirety of the land reform bill is the seizure of lands that remain idle or are otherwise unused, producing no benefit for the State. The governement has instituted a policy that allows for landless peasants to claim lands are not used in an effort to better the condition of the rural poor and afford them a worthy existence without having to indenture themselves into fuedal like servitude with no possible expectation of betterment and with no guarantee of subsistency.

The issue of land seizure is contentious at the very least. Certainly no one expects for property or land to be siezed, excepting those who actually work the land and produce value to the land and/or property, for the the benefit of the owner no doubt, but also to the state and its people. Is it unreasonable to expect that the government, facing huge corporations with billions to spare and who own lands within country where land is a valuable resource, and where those corporations let those lands lie fallow waiting for markets to catch up to demands, for the government to assess the condition of the usage of land? Fairness is to be valued in this equation and the Venezuelan government has done just that in asking for negotiations of large landowners prior to seizure:

Chávez invites "large estate holders" to negotiate

President Hugo Chávez Thursday invited "large estate holders to negotiate land holding."

When presenting the results of Vuelvan Caras employment plan, the Venezuelan ruler ensured that his government does not "want to despoil anyone." The measures only intend to redistribute the land in order to favor the have-nots. "Let us negotiate," he insisted, local Unión Radio reported.

Nevertheless, Chávez warned that anyone who opposes this process would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. He made a call to land owners to reach an agreement. "We are reaching out to you. If you have 20,000 hectares, a house, animals... I don't want to take anything from you. Even though you have no right on the estate, we are willing to let you own a part of it legally."

Meanwhile, unofficial sources said that early on Thursday members of Chávez' military house arrived in La Marqueseña ranch, in southwestern Barinas state. The Venezuelan ruler has reportedly plans to broadcast his weekly radio and TV show "Hello, President!" from this estate, recently taken over by regional authorities and the National Land Institute (INTI).

Call me dumb but this sounds of inclusiveness to me. The plan is known: "talk to me, how can we resolve this matter", Is how this headline grabs me. No doubt others will take portions of it an make of it what they will for obvious reasons. But the truth remains, the government is seeking input on how to ameliorate the situation - if others want to make a cause of the matter, that does not make null the governments honest effort to right a potential grievance before it is highligted as a spite against the government.


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