Rebellion in Santa Barbara del Zulia, Venezuela

December 18, 2010

Yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture showed up with the military in the area south of Lake Maracaibo known as Santa Barbara del Zulia to take over 47 farms, most of which are devoted to milk or meat production, giving a harangue against the farmers, attacking the “oligarchs” that own the farms. It appeared to be another take over of land in the Chavez Dictatorship.

Except that the farmers and cattlemen and their workers have decided this time to fight and began blocking the road, demanding the presence of the authorities, blocking the National Guard from going through and saying that they would stay there until the measure was revoked. The workers of one farm, named Los Peonios, stopped the National Guard from taking over the farm they work and live at. (It is unclear what their plans are, some leaders say it is a 24 hour protest, others that they will not leave until the measure is revoked)

This confrontation is a strong challenge to the Dictator, however, these people have everything to lose as they face the power of the Venezuelan Army. At the same time, this is also a challenge for Dictator Chavez and his Government as the people of the area are well armed, are used to confrontation and any bloodshed could create a backlash both in Venezuela and internationally against the Venezuelan Government.

For now, this remains the most important challenge to Chavez’ arbitrariness in quiet a while and if this were to continue, people from other parts of Zulia State may decide to join the farmers, creating a significant challenge and a potential trouble spot for the Dictator.

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25 Responses to “Rebellion in Santa Barbara del Zulia, Venezuela”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    […] gut bewirtschafteter Bananen und Vieh Haciendas in Lago del Sur YouTube – komissar-loyo.AVI Rebellion in Santa Barbara del Zulia, Venezuela The Devil’s Excrement Uprising Spreads in Venezuela – blog.erlingsson.com aber schliesslich musste er was tun – […]

  2. Greg Buls Says:

    So it looks like the government seized 31 of the farms? I’m sorry. What is happening to your country is almost unbelievable.
    I don’t see a way to contribute to this site. Anyone?
    I didn’t know that The Devil’s Excrement referred to oil. I assumed it referred to your adolescent leader.


  3. Isn’t it somewhat amusing that in Venezuela, the real revolucionarios are the ones in the opposition?

    A revolutionary is always the person who goes against the system or government in power. If Chavez’s government is the one in power, then, by definition, the “revolution” is the struggle of the opposition, not the other way around.

    Oh, my country’s contradictions never cease to amaze me. They defy all logic.

  4. ls1115 Says:

    I have not seen any reports of this very major development on the New York Times!

    This monkey promotes himself to bona fide dictator for the next year and a half, “because of the weather”, very conveniently blanketing the 2012 presidential elections, proceeds to steal -at gunpoint- the remaining productive lands from their rightful owners who refuse to turn the other cheek, while the world keeps silent.

    Why?

    Any thoughts, Sean Penn, Danny Glover, Michael Moore?

  5. Juancho Says:

    Good points all around. Speed points out the Elephant in the room per every conversation about Latin America: the total uselessness of the military in the rational affairs of the nation. A Latino military is basically the equal of a Mafia protection outfit – you pay them to leave you alone. Look at how Costa Rica has flourished sans military.

    Chavez’ main problem now is PR. He’s maintaining his stranglehold on power through Socialist claims about acting on behalf of the “people,” the pueblo. But the further he marches down toward total tyranny, the more the line is blurred between the Ricos and the pueblo.

    Now, with these farms, the line has all but vanished, and Hugo is attacking the very people he claims to be defending. The only way he can pull that off is to reframe this particular pueblo as being in the service of the oligarchs. Of course the pueblo knows better, and more face-offs are certain. It will be interesting to see how much force the military is willing to use here and elsewhere. It just may be be that when push comes to shove, the military might be loath to shoot their own kind. I sure hope so.

    Juancho

  6. Gordo Says:

    The whole world will be watching…. if the cameras have a way to reach youtube, twittre, etc. People with computer and internet skills need to go to the hotspots ASAP and keep the world’s eyes watching!

  7. Manuel Says:

    Curb your enthusiasm! Chavez could still play the card of the savior, pretending to “mediate” between farmers and military. He is cunning and lives to be praised, when not feared. Cold heads are essential now, as ever.


  8. Joel: Not quite. The way the law is worded, because this blog is hosted outside Venezuela, it is the ISP that is responsible, not me.

  9. Joel M Says:

    And the last week, HC made a new comunication law that prohibit made comments to the online news, so right now you can not make comments or anything to the news pages, the first responsible is the owner of the web page, is very sad for my country what is happening now, and the worst is coming, when the rest of the world can not see, can not hear anything that happen in Venezuela…

  10. mick Says:

    The British Army attacks in Lexington and Concord were militarily insignificant, but the were “shots heard around the world”. Loyal British colonists became angry armed militiamen fighting for their freedom from tyranny.

    Dead farmers are what put Hugo’s fellow tyrant Evo the coca addict in office.

    I would bet Castro killed his share of farmers, but no one was there with a cell phone camera to document it.

    Nobody but Iran and North Korea will have anything to do with him if bloody pictures start showing up on the web. He can try to censor all he wants, but even Iran couldn’t stop the cameras.

  11. Roy Says:

    I actually think that Chavez is spoiling for a fight. He wants to have a bunch of Opposition “anti-revolutionarios” lying dead in the street, because he wants that image along with its lesson burned into the consciousness of the public.

    However, he is picking his fight in the wrong place. He wants that image to be in an urban setting, not on a rural farm road.

  12. AuvienLobo Says:

    Expecting this people to pick up the Olympic Torch,

    It Won´t happen, how ugly is this optimism…

    So what, they will make concessions. Chavez is all about frentes de batallas and putting the fire that can be seen from miles off.

    He won´t stop until his life is in direct contact with a cold barrel, but since that won´t happen because of the fear of a civil war. it will just be business as usual, ain´t mugabe a dirty example.

    Whatever a super power won´t buy to keep his regime, an other will; and the next elections, well they will be the ones where they will spend the most money making sure it goes their way with 1 to 15 point difference.

    Meet the Conmen, and get your friends out while you can, or makes sure they develop the network for the next phase.

    Sheep’s don´t herd themselves no matter how hard you pray. Just make sure the local dog´s are well fed.

  13. firepigette Says:

    This blog looks like the billboard:

    ” It’s snowing in Wanna- do City”….but it’s cute.

    All I can Say is I will keep these people in my heart and hope for the best.Good for them.It takes guts.

  14. HalfEmpty Says:

    Dang MO I got vision problems, you scared me.

    🙂

  15. concerned Says:

    As bad as it may would look for the military to use force against any resistance, it would look worse for HC if any resistance forced him to back off. They went too far turning the whole event into a media circus with the ridiculous show of military force for the chavista backed news crews. Now there is no way they can not take the farms without looking weak.

    This is sure to get ugly in the coming days, and the best HC can hope for would be a media blackout. With the right support and a few weapons, I would put my money on the Zulia farmers. This could be the turning point to the robolution’s demise. Without support?????

  16. Fabio Bertozzi Says:

    Please Mother Chinita, protect these workers against Chavez’s plans and give them the honor to initiate the “break point” in Venezuela. Give them the strength to figth for their rigths of liberty and progress.

  17. m_astera Says:

    Speed-

    I always wondered what they got all those medals and ribbons for.

  18. Gringo Says:

    m_astera
    The only way I could see HC pulling this off is if there is already a large and popular contingent of chavista farmers to whom he has promised these farms. Still it’s a dumb move.

    From what I have read, expropriated farms get occupied by people from the urban barrios who don’t know a thing about farming and who don’t get credit for seed etc. purchases- not that they would know what do do it they got credit.

    “Chavista farmer” = “chavista expert”

  19. chiguire Says:

    Hay que tirar plomo bravo Pueblo

  20. speed Gibson Says:

    finally…someone with some balls down there….now what will likely happen is the army will shoot some farmers and the shit will start to unravel at an accelerated pace

    m. astera….the ONLY purpose of latin american armies is to shoot their own people…..you dont think for a minute they would actually engage in a real war do you? and before you mention the falklands, the argies took over the island from a bunch of sheep herders how mucho macho


  21. […] The Devil's Excrement reports that farmers from Santa Barbara del Zulia have rebelled against the expropriation of 47 farms: “[T]he farmers and cattlemen and their workers have decided this time to fight and began blocking the road, demanding the presence of the authorities, blocking the National Guard from going through and saying that they would stay there until the measure was revoked.” […]

  22. Ken Price Says:

    This is how it begins: the government oversteps and the (real) pueblo has finally had enough. Chavez and his cronies are stealing Venezuela blind, and even the dumbest peon is finally waking up. The more Chavez and his band of 40 thieves pushes, the closer they are to their eventual doom.

  23. m_astera Says:

    Sending in Federal troops to attack the local farmers? Talk about a public relations disaster. A lot will depend on the soldiers, I think. Will they be willing to use force against the people that grow the food to feed them? If they do, they will forever tarnish the reputation of the Venezuelan military; attacking farmers to steal their farms. I doubt there is anyone in that area who doesn’t know what happens to the farms after the government steals them. They have nothing to gain and their life’s work to lose if this goes forward.

    Also worth mentioning that farmers are usually too busy to fight or get involved in politics much; if you take away their work and their livelihood that might change.

    The only way I could see HC pulling this off is if there is already a large and popular contingent of chavista farmers to whom he has promised these farms. Still it’s a dumb move.

  24. island canuck Says:

    El Universal is reporting that they are sending or have sent 3 battalions of troops to take the 47 farms in Zulia & 5 in Merida.

    http://www.eluniversal.com/2010/12/18/eco_art_movilizan-tres-batal_2140173.shtml

    I wonder how long these brave & desperate people can hold out. They should be an inspiration to all freedom loving Venezuelans.


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