Sunday, May 07, 2006

Land Invasions in Venezuela

My ultra-radical, Chavez admirer and revolutionary friend, Justin Delacour, asked me to document for him cases of land invasion, since he believes that the government is just threatening only big corporations with lots of land. Justin believes that they wouldn't ever do that to a middle-class land owner with 40 acres, like his Dad in the U.S. But many of us Venezuelans believe that there is more than meets the eye, and that the Chavez regime is operating as a big mafia as they expropiate and invade at will, according to their personal interests, etc. Since I live far away, I need your help in sending me information of people who have been affected by some type of expropiation of housing or land, or abuse of power by the regime.

Without any research, what comes to mind is the notorious expropiations of the Vestey Cattle Ranch and Hato Piñero, the latter, an incredibly beautiful ranch for the ecological tourist, thanks to the initiative of the owners, the Branger family. Seems like that's the price you pay for a succesful initiative. The cherry on the top of this crusade is awarded to Caracas mayor, Juan Barreto, who has been expropiating buildings in the city with the help of his thugs - armed criminals disguised as freedom fighters called TUPAMAROS. A video circulating on the net shows Barreto talking about expropiation, and why it's illegal - according to him - for a golf club called "La Lagunita", to have a golf course. The video is quite amusing since you can see the mayor, "guapo y apoyado" (handsome and supported), by a group of orcs in red T-shirts, yelling at a female journalist just because she dared to ask the mayor, whether or not the government was respecting property rights. What I got from this video was that, apparently, it's OK for the government to step over you if you're considered an oligarch, which is absolutely everybody who dares to dissent with the dementia of Mr. Chavez. It doesn't matter if you own a US $500,000-1,000,000 old building in the middle of the city, or a ranch costing millions. By the way, just to give you a little flavor on this guy, Barreto, he's the one that said in a public interview that 'women are the only animals that bleed every month and don't die.

Something else comes to my mind, not technically related to land expropiation but one closely aligned with ABUSE of POWER, namely, the government breaking and entering homes of former employers of the state-owned oil company, PDVSA, and their families in the middle of the night, at gun point.

I appreciate your help in documenting these cases.

Yours truly,

Video: Barreto's civilized manners towards a journalist

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