Re: (OPE-L) land reform in Venezuela

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Thu Jan 08 2004 - 15:06:17 EST

>From Maurice Lemoine:  As
>well as the cartas agrarias, the 500 occupants received
>three tractors and 690m bolivars ($430,000) in credits.
>Seven months later the project, intended as a showcase for
>Chávez's policies, was a partial failure.
>"Our comandante thinks everything's working great! They
>hide the real figures from him; no one tells him the truth.
>There haven't been 500 hectares opened up for farming here,
>only 15."...The government aims to hand out not only land,
>but also machinery and credits. It wants the population to
>have access to an infrastructure of housing, schools and
>health centres. To achieve this, the INTI has to work with
>the relevant ministries and councils - highly bureaucratic
>structures, many of whose staff are members of the old
>political parties and have been festering there for as much
>as 15-20 years. "They do everything they can to scupper
>this kind of development," she says. "Like the ministers,
>we have to work conspiratorially, by infiltrating these
>establishments and seeking out allies. So the results are
>often slow." It is a huge waste of time and energy.

Right... all success is Chavez's; all failure has to be the fault of
his opponents  in those highly bureaucratic structures that
Commandante Chavez (for some unspecified reason) has decided not to
shake up or shake down. Chavez can only trust his brother as the
minister--that alone should cause some skepticism, no?  At least
Lemoine does point to some gap between the rhetoric and reality; it's
not something that Wilpert would do.

>the campesinos are
>emerging organised and aware of the law. They read it. They
>know they have rights.

And what exactly is it that they have right to? Land that landowners
have had absolutely no use for? This is a revolutionary land reform
program? It seems to be crumbs for the poor while Chavez destroys the
domestic oil industry, paving the way for either the exports of other
countries or more foreign control of the Venezuelan oil industry.
Chavez seems to me a demagogue.



This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Jan 09 2004 - 00:00:01 EST