Statement after La Via Campesina´s First International Solidarity Mission in Venezuela

The delegation of La Via Campesina with representatives from Europe, North America, South America and Central America, together with popular journalists from Africa and South America, announce to the national and international public that we have concluded the 1st International Solidarity Mission with Venezuela, held between January 20th and 27th in several regions of the country, among them the states of Lara, Portuguesa, Barinas and Apure.

La Via Campesina is a movement that brings together peasant organizations of all five continents, active in the struggles for food sovereignty and defending the rights of the peoples in the face of unbridled capitalism and imperialism, predators of life on the planet. In this sense, the goal of the Solidarity Mission in Venezuela was to get to know in-depth, together with organized collectives, the consequences and impacts caused by the United States and European blockade against the Venezuelan people.

The Mission, a milestone for La Via Campesina, has allowed us to see the high level of organization in the territories of the National Peasant Front Ezequiel Zamora (FNCEZ, by its acronym in Spanish), part of the Revolutionary Movement Bolivar y Zamora (CRBZ) and member of La Via Campesina. These organizations enabled meetings with different men and women responsible for driving and upholding the process of the Bolivarian Revolution in Defense of National Sovereignty.

The Mission also had the opportunity to delve into a thorough exploration of the organizations of the people’s Bolivarian resistance. This was possible thanks to exchanges with men and women comrades of the commune “El Maizal” (in the states of Lara and Portuguesa), with the Cooperative Association “Los Colonos” and the University Latin American Institute of Agroecology (IALA) “Paulo Freire”, the socialist agro-touristic commune “Pie de Monte Andino”, the Peasant Settlement “Victor Ojeda” (of the state of Barinas) and the Communal Peasant City “Simon Bolivar” (in the state of Apure). The above-mentioned experiences are part of the National Production Alliance (ANP), an FNCEZ-CRBZ initiative to promote food productivity and sovereignty in the communities.

In each of the experiences visited we were able to verify the high level of awareness of the Venezuelan people, their sense of dignity, sovereignty and autonomy. These characteristics were also present in the National Bolivarian Militia, which is marked by a strong peasant component and integrates millions of people.

We also witnessed the organizational dynamics and the productive work peasants have managed to develop. This work is one of the actions of resistance to the economic blockade that has an impact on the areas of food and overall human development. The rescue and further development of Peasant Agriculture in a path towards Agroecology and Food Sovereignty gain a special relevance given the current context.

In addition, we value and salute the appreciation of local organizations awarded to the “IALA Paulo Freire” due to its contribution in knowledge exchange and dialogue related to peasant agriculture aimed at recovering the wisdom of the peoples about ways production free of toxic agro-chemicals. This institute of political agroecological and internationalist education is the main reference in Latin America. It was founded thanks to the sensibility of the Venezuelan Bolivarian Government in the early 2000s. The current focus is on finding a way to face the crisis and succeed in supplying peasant families and people’s markets, as well as ensuring the necessary food for education facilities through the connection with the national government.

La Via Campesina reaffirms its solidarity with the FNCEZ of the CRBZ and the Venezuelan peasantry as a whole. We are certain that this period of crisis, largely due to the #US blockade, will come to an end and that Venezuela will be able to make its own decisions regarding its economic and human development in full sovereignty and with utmost dignity.

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