A people up in arms

A people up in arms

Many Venezuelans still have not realized how serious the situation created by the laws that have been enacted wholesale in recent months is, particularly when these laws are applied in combination.
One of these “legal” combinations that will have disastrous consequences for the country is the Urban Lands Law and the Bolivarian National Armed Force Law, both recently passed by the National Assembly. The first “legalizes” the mass appropriation of private property by the State, from the seizure of land to taking control of the production chain of housing construction materials. The second creates the fifth military component, the Bolivarian Militia, which will come under the direct orders of the President of the Republic.
In order to appreciate the dangers posed by combining these two laws, suffice it to recall statements by Public Works and Housing Minister Diosdado Cabello during a ceremony to hand over trucks under the “Barrio Nuevo, Barrio Tricolor” (New Shantytown, Tricolor Shantytown) Plan held in Parque del Oeste Alí Primera in Catia last week and reported by the local press on October 30.
Minister Cabello announced, among other “minor” details, that 72 Barrio Nuevo, Barrio Tricolor camps are to be set up in Greater Caracas to boost the construction and upgrading of housing. He explained that the plan consists of replacing shanties with houses or apartments and that the camps will be set up to take delivery of the materials that will be needed. According to Minister Cabello, under the Urban Lands Law, any unoccupied urban land should belong to the people. He stated that “this legal framework gives the government the power to take action. We aren’t going to ride roughshod over anyone, but nor do we want the people in the shantytowns to be ridden roughshod over. For example, in Catia, there are parking lots and workshops and next door a house that is falling into disrepair. That’s an outrage that will not be allowed.”
His second announcement was that expropriation of cement transportation units and the companies that produce aggregates (sand and gravel) has not been discarded. He said, “We will take those we have to take so that production doesn’t stop. There are parts in the gear assembly that aren’t running properly and need adjusting.”
The third pronouncement by Minister Cabello was that “the militia is fundamental for enforcing the Urban Lands Law, in which urban land is declared to be affected with a public purpose as it is considered to have a social function.” And he announced that “militia will be formed in these camps for the defense of urban plots of land.” He explained that the militia will be made up of members of the communities and “have to be everywhere for the defense of the territory; and the communal councils bring us information to help us.” In view of the fears that the setting up of these camps has generated, he confirmed that “militia and rifle shooting classes will be held [there], because they have to become centers for the defense of the people, of the revolution, of the spaces,” clarifying that the intention is not to attack anyone.
These statements by Minister Cabello are in line with those given by President Hugo Chávez in council of ministers last week, when he stressed that the Venezuelan people “is a people in arms, a war waged by an entire people (…) We don’t have plans to attack anyone. But we’re going to turn Venezuela into a country capable of defending the territory to the last millimeter and, to do that, it’s important for the people to participate.”
What are they playing at?”

The Master Blog


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