Former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica visited the National Agrarian Reform Fair hosted by the Landless Workers’ Movement, MST, on Saturday, offering his support for the social movement.
During his visit, the leftist politician participated in a press conference with independent media outlets where he defended the importance of the campesino struggle and the distribution of land for the dispossessed.
“Land shouldn’t be private property. Land belongs to humanity. And, much greater than the problem involving the concentration of land, Brazil is suffering a dichotomy of its own history. We’ll only resolve this paradigm through class and social struggle. Civilization has invented the most incredible technologies. But, today, it’s dominated by them and not the opposite. Land can’t be the cavalry for poverty. It must be an instrument for liberation, compassion, poetry, and not just for business. You must plant your soul to reap fruits. Land cultivated without your heart and soul results in failure.”
Of humble campesino origins, Mujica criticized the rampant use of technology in rural areas and how it adversely impacts the environment and biodiversity. In Brazil, for example, U.S. companies supplying meat to Burger King deforest millions of acres of land to grow soy that feeds cattle.
During his stay in Brazil, Mujica also demonstrated his support for former president Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva’s re-election candidacy. He accompanied Lula onstage during the commencement of a Workers’ Party regional conference in Sao Paulo on Friday.
Lula, considered one of Brazil’s most popular presidents, left office with a 90 percent approval rating.
The National Agrarian Reform Fair, dedicated to promoting organic and holistic products, comes to an end on Sunday.