Venezuelan campesinos march for Chavez

Up to 20,000 people mobilised for a four-hour march through Caracas on November 20. The demonstration, led by campesinos (peasants), was in support of the reelection of revolutionary Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the December 3 election.

The rally was organised by the Ezequiel Zamora Campesino Front (FCEZ) — one of the main revolutionary groups organising rural workers and the landless poor in Venezuela. The weekday mobilisation included thousands of people mobilised by the FCEZ who had made the journey from rural areas outside the capital.

A prominent contingent at the front of the demonstration was organised by Popular Union of Venezuelans (UPV), theatrically led on horseback by popular UPV leader and Chavista politician Lina Ron. Lina Ron later addressed the rally. According to the November 21 Diario Vea she argued: "There is no other possibility, there is no other way, but to recognise this as an important mobilisation for the triumph of [Chavez]." Alan Woods, representing Hands off Venezuela from Britain, also addressed the rally.

According to a March 22 Venezuelanalysis.com report on the demonstration, FCEZ spokesperson Ramon Elogio Biriguey stated that the march had two major aims: "One, to give support to President Chavez in the upcoming elections; and two, to push for a 'Zamoran Agenda' against imperialism and in support of the construction of socialism, democratic participation, Venezuela's natural resources, food security and to further increase the 'revolutionary agrarian reform."

Venezuela Analysis also reported that another pro-Chavez march was held concurrently with the FCEZ demonstration and was led by members of community media groups, indigenous organisations, unionists and members of the Communal Councils. This demonstration marched to the Llagano bridge in central Caracas — a few blocks away from the campesino demonstration.

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