Archive for October 6th, 2005

A sad tale from land expropriated south of Lake Maracaibo

October 6, 2005

Long article in today’s El Nacional on what has happened with the land
distributed by the Chávez administration three years ago in the area south of Lake Maracaibo.
Verbatim translation of a couple of parts:

“Ernesto Baptista works as a laborer of the “Zamoran” project
located in the old La Conquista farm which was expropriated in 2001 to turn it
into the first expropriation project of the Government when the Head of the
Land Institute was General Wilfredo Silva. He says that currently the farm is paralyzed
and that there is no production of any kind in the first agricultural project
of the regime. -There is no planting of anything, why should I deny it. There
is no production of anything because the Executive left us alone, without projects
and without any money. Nobody here is working, because nobody ahs helped

“Even worse luck was that of the 450 hectares of the Angus Urdaneta
producer handed over by President Chavez himself on September 8th. 2001 to 40
families of the Caiman brook and Caricaiman, in the distant population of Encontrados.
All of the families have abandoned the lands given them due to the lack of
support and resources”

“The President of Fegalago pointed out that all of the agricultural
projects implemented by the Government in Zulia have been a failure. -The facts
demonstrate that the farms intervened by the Government began to suffer from a
decreasing production in all of its categories, something that has little to do
with what was going on when they were managed and administered by their

“Martinez called on the President to come to the town of Santa Barbara and
the whole axis south of the lake…-It is possible that he is being deceived by
those interested in taking over and divide out among themselves Venezuelan
farms with the tale of agrarian socialism-“

Of course, after this roaring failure, the Government is now
threatening to take over this week three of the thirty productive farms
of the area.

Way to go!


A cynical double standard by the Chavez administration

October 6, 2005

It wasn’t that long ago that Hugo Chavez was blasting Venezuela’s telecom company
CANTV, majority owned by Verizon, for “not paying the workers “what the
Supreme Court had ordered in the case of workers asking to have their pensions
upgraded to current salaries and threatening to apply the
“acid and sword of the law” if the company failed to pay. Of course, the
Supreme Court has not even told CANTV how much it has to pay the workers, let
alone give them a schedule to pay. Moreover, CANTV will certainly appeal the
decision. Thus, Hugo was just grandstanding, playing for “his” gallery, pretending
to be the savior of the workers. Pretending to care so much for them…


they are Government employees. In that case, watch out! He does not care! This
was proven yesterday when one of Chavez’ poster boy companies for “co-management”
between the workers and the ownership, state-run aluminum company Venalum,
appealed to the Supreme Court the decision by a Labor Court to make the
salaries of pensioned off workers equal to those that are currently holding the
positions. These workers were the same ones that helped block off the
President’s path when he went to Ciudad
Guayana a couple of weeks ago. This awoke Chavez’ ire
leading to his infamous statement that nobody should aspire to be rich.

Thus, in contrast with the CANTV case, in this case, it is the State that does
not want to help the workers, but you don’t hear Chavez talking about it or
threatening the company, or ordering the CEO to pay the workers, after all he
happens to be the boss of the CEO of Venalum. I guess if they work for the
state, they want to get rich, but if they work for the private sector, they
deserve what they are owed.

What a cynical double standard!