Archive for September 25th, 2005

September 25, 2005

You have to admire Carlos Azpurua. The military has surrounded his farm
La Marqueseña. Chavez himself went there today to hold his program and
almost announced some form of agreement with Azpurua. But nothing
doing according
to Azpurua late today, who is sticking to his guns and remianing in his
farm. Azpurua thanked Chavez for his words, but reiterated that his
farm is private property. He said he would study the President’s
proposal and sort of sent Chavez a challenge when he said that he
believed the President when he said that he would no run over anyone.
He also said any agreement would need to pay him and his partners, of
which there are six, to receive compensation first.

Venezuela needs more fighting men of principles like Carlos Azpurua.
Others would shut up, hide or run (In fact, many do everyday, preferring to make a buck quietly!). He is
standing by his principles and ethics and his own well being is at
stake. I hope, but doubt, that Chavez will stick to his words. I fear
there will be blood in La Marqueseña.

Hugo sows fears by Teodoro Petkoff

September 25, 2005

Typically Teodoro Petkoff does not write his Editorial on
Fridays unless something important requires it. This Friday he did, here it is.

Hugo sows fears
by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

“To those that we expropriate the land from, maybe I will
give them a paper: In 2030 collect from Chávez”. Perhaps the President intended
to make a (bad) joke with this idea, but there is no doubt that his subconscious
gave him away letting out a repressed wish. Deep inside, one may believe he
wants to confiscate and not expropriate. In fact, when he refers to the payment
for the properties to be expropriated he let out, almost inadvertently, that they
will be paid when they can and as they can. Chavez has no clue of the wasp’s nest
that he is stirring. Among the strongest feelings that move human beings is that
of ownership.

It is as much or even more powerful than love. That is why
everything that has to with it has to be handled with extreme care, in
particular by Governments. When Chavez leaves doubts as to whether there will be
or not indemnization for the owners of lands or factories, that is, that
they can be confiscated, snatched from their owners, and in second place he is
clearly violating the Constitution and the laws, where confiscation is expressly
prohibited. Thus the fears that today permeate down to the most humble of the inhabitants
of the popular barrios, to say nothing of the middle class.

The application of the Land Bill, with the unnecessary
military deployment and with prepotent and aggressive language, given the impression
that they are acting outside of the law itself, has done nothing but generate
in the country and atmosphere of fear about the future of property in general. To
make matters worse, the last statements by the President about the “empty lots”
in the cities, of which they “have to be watchful” in order to “expropriate them”
supposedly to build housing, are increasing the sense of anxiety in all sector of
society. Chávez, with that ultraleftist infantilism, is promoting even more uncertainty
that, among other things, conspires openly against job creation and the fight against
poverty. In a country where nobody knows what to expect in the future and where
even coop members are asked to forget about making money, it is impossible to create
new jobs because nobody is going to invest a cent if they don’t know what may
happen to their investment.

The result will be more poverty.

What there is pertinent in the elimination of large farm estates
or the creation of new form of economic and social organization, advanced however,
setting aside the search for possible agreements, produces a trauma which is more
psychological than political and will stumble with resistance from those
that have little, who only owning a small home property, may feel however, that
“the Government” may take it away from them.

Some may think that he is just putting the rich in their rightful
place, but others may believe that things will just not stop there and you start
by militarily intervening Polar and you may end confiscating and nationalizing kiosks
where newspaper are sold. In social and political life, reality matters much less
than what people perceive of it. That is why so many revolutionary intentions have utterly failed.

September 25, 2005

Chavez’ attack on the La Marqueseña farm is not simply a
. Whenyou compare that farm to
many of the larger properties, it is a fairly active farm which does not reach the
10,000 hectares that the Government had targeted for expropriation and had all
of the certifications required as an active farm.

But you
see, Chavez is emotionally linked to the La Marqueseña farm through his great
grandfather Pedro Perez Delgado “Maisanta”. I was going to write about it today
and some of the details were published by Agustin
Blanco Muñoz in today’s El Universal
and I will add others.

was a farm hand at La Marqueseña and became the second in command of guerilla
leader Jose de Jesus Gonzalez “El Agachado”, who was one of the followers of
Ezequiel Zamora, another Chavez idol. The other well known follower of El
Agachado was Joaquin Crespo, who helps open the way for Cipriano Castro’s
election as President. It is Castro who names Maisanta as Military and Civil
Chief of Chavez’ home town of Sabaneta
and gives him right to the farm where he used to work, La Marqueseña. Thus,
Chavez great grandfather was the supposed owner of that farm early in this century.

Cipriano Castro is overthrown by Gomez, Maisanta quickly changes sides and
becomes part of Gomez’ military. But in 1914 Maisanta joins a coup attempt
against Gomez and joins the guerrilla. Gomez expropriated La Marqueseña from
Maisanta at that time. Maisanta spent years in the guerrillas until he was
captured and died in jail. Supposedly he was one of those that died because
they were unwittingly fed ground glass daily in their food.

to Chavez long time girlfriend Herma Marksman, who was with Chavez until a year
and a half after the 1992 coup attempt, Chávez always talked about getting back
the La Marqueseña farm, “because those lands belonged to his great grandfather”.
Chavez also talked about “rescuing” the image of his grandfather who appears in
the history books as a cattle robber, bloody guerrilla leader who would change sides
whenever necessary. Marksman says that Chavez believed that Maisanta was a
fighter for the weak and not the mean and bloody character that historians says
he was.

Now, the
owners of La Marqueseña claim they purchased the farm from the Government after
that date and Chavez has suggested that his great grandfather owned the land. But
the truth is that since 1821, when all lands were expropriated by the
Venezuelan Government, there is no transfer of the land until the Azpurua family
bought it from the Government. Maisanta’s ownership was characteristic of the
time, Castro just “gave” it to him without any transfer of property.

write this as Chavez is broadcasting his Sunday program from la
people not to allow hate to be brought into their lives, when the only
one that
is full of hate and hang ups is the President himself, who clings to a
past for
this country and himself that will never return. Venezuela is no longer
the rural country of Maisanta or Chavez’ childhood and few of the
87% of its inhabitants who live in cities have no interest in
returning to the land.