Freedom for the Comuneros

Editorial Note: This piece have ignited a constructive debate withing Chavismo and is related to this interview but also to this response by Minister Castro Soteldo (no translation or Spanish transcript yet). A few days ago President Maduro announced a National Debate of 2 weeks to address this issues.


By Elías Jaua Milano

In the midst of the tremendous battle we and our people are waging for Independence and the right to live in peace that we have as a people, incomprehensible actions are developed by some State officials against the subjects who are breastfeeding, resisting and fighting for the Fatherland, the Revolution and by the government of President Nicolás Maduro.

This is the case of 10 comuneros, in the Portuguese State, who are deprived of their freedom for peacefully occupying a state-owned company, Arroz del Alba, a plant located in the Steller Municipality, whose operation was granted to a private company.

What does the Comuna Agua de Dios demand, in the exercise of its legal powers in the communal area? That social property is respected, that the legal conditions under which national assets are delivered to a private entity are explained, that stability is guaranteed and working conditions of the workers, that the rice production of the area is received, that a percentage of the distribution is sold in the community. Nothing that the capitalist operator fulfills at this moment.

On the contrary, according to workers and community members, only imported rice is being bagged by the State whose sales destination is unknown, workers are fired and their working conditions are precarious, the community is not supplied and there is not public accountability for the legal  actions in which they operate.

The comuneros and comuneras have gone to all instances and the only response from the State has been the forced eviction by the law enforcement agencies and the deprivation of liberty, for more than 60 days, to 10 of their comrades, accused of riding a parallel state. OMG! Is that perhaps the officials of the justice system ignore the Law of the Plan of the Fatherland and the laws of the People’s Power that emanate from article 184 of our Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

I will be told that this is not the time to publicly publicize this case, but it is unfortunately not only this case. In several states of the country, dozens of peasants, workers, comuneros and comuneras are prosecuted for defending social property and exercising popular power. That sometimes they do not do it in the best way, it may be true, but deep down they are political conflicts that have to be resolved with political methods.

I do believe that, today more than ever, we mus t denounce the growing criminalization of Popular Power, first because to claim justice it is always the right time, secondly because the social subjects who are being imprisoned, persecuted, run over are those who have given, are giving the face and they are those who put and will be able to defend the Homeland and the Bolivarian Revolution. It was not the landowners, nor the capitalists who went to the streets in April 2002 to face the fascist coup, they will not be the ones to go to the streets now.

It is well known that fascism in Chile did not begin to act after September 11, 1973, date of the coup against President Allende, already months before, through the justice and the most reactionary sectors of the Armed Forces , students, workers, peasants were imprisoned, there were evictions from the factories and reclaimed lands. All with the objective of weakening the popular organization and demoralizing the people who defended the Popular Unity project. Let’s learn lessons from history.

With this article I do not seek to polemicize with anyone, I have never done politics from the personal diatribe. I write it from the moral obligation that I have with the memory of Comandante Chávez, with the principles of our Bolivarian Revolution and with the working people, peasants, comuneros, humble people who have been the protagonists of the construction of this process.

The people that have marched, that have voted, that resist all the hardships of the present time so that the Revolution has the Presidency, the National Constituent Assembly, the almost totality of governorates, mayorships, Legislative Councils and Municipal Councils does not deserve that we give it the back against the outrage of the factical powers that already consume the restoration of the old methods of repression, coercion and client control that we had eradicated.

The power that our people have accumulated can not be used against them, to defend the old. That power is for the defense of Independence, for the construction of the new, for the deepening of participatory and protagonist democracy, for social equality, for justice, for the dignity of the people.

Compatriots, comrades we are obliged to be consistent with what Chavez told us many times: “We can not turn our backs on the peasant, the worker, the poor people of the countryside and the city, the young people, the women” . Let’s listen to Chávez in

Raising these issues and taking corrective measures strengthens the unity of the revolution. Because a people with participation, with real power has more moral strength to face this imperial aggression that threatens the life of the Republic.

The revolutionary unity can not be just a slogan repeated a thousand times, unity is guaranteed from below, from the concrete, from the exercise of participation and real power by the organized people.

Finally, it requested before the competent organs the freedom of the community members processed and detained in the headquarters of the State Police of Portuguesa, in Acarigua and beyond, of all the peasants, workers, comuneros and any other activist of the Power Popular that is in the same conditions.

The wise and free people that carried out the rebellion of April 13, 2002 and that today continues in rebellion against the imperialist aggression, does not deserve to be imprisoned. It deserves to be recognized the democratic and protagonist exercise of its power. That’s what Chávez was for.

In these days of Holy Week, we ratify the option of Christ for the humble, for the excluded, for the run over at all times. May God be with us


Source URL: YVKE Mundial

Translated by JRE



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Elias Jaua Milano
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Elías José Jaua Milano is a Venezuelan politician and former university professor who served as Vice President of Venezuela from January 2010 to October 2012.He was Minister of Foreign Affairs since January 2013. Jaua obtained a Sociology degree from the Central University of Venezuela. In 2000 he was part of the Comisión Legislativa Nacional and Minister of the Secretaría de la Presidencia from 2000 to 2001.

He was nominated as Venezuelan Ambassador to Argentina in 2002. Jaua served as Minister of Agriculture in President Hugo Chávez's government before being appointed as Vice-President in January 2010, while remaining Minister of Agriculture. On 15 December 2011, following a major reshuffle of the Venezuelan political leadership, President Chávez proposed Jaua to be the PSUV candidate for governor of the state of Miranda (reported in El Universal).

He resigned the vice presidency on 13 October 2012 to compete in the election and was replaced by Nicolás Maduro. He lost the election on 16 December 2012 to the former governor Henrique Capriles who had stepped down in June 2012 to unsuccessfully challenge Hugo Chávez for President. Jaua succeeded Nicolás Maduro as Minister of Foreign Affairs on 15 January 2013.

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