Exactly two years ago, the Brigadas de Defensa Popular Hugo Chávez (BDPHCh) became known to the entire country. With a powerful caravan that ran along the number 5 highway, between Santa Bárbara de Barinas and Socopó, hundreds of militants from Apure, Barinas, Táchira, Mérida and Caracas responded to the urgent call that was made at that time.
Those were the days when the Venezuelan right wing led by the United States subjected the country to a wave of fascist violence without precedents: paramilitary operations against military and police barracks, the burning of food storage centers, the destruction of health centers, the headquarters of political parties and social organizations, the siege of housing projects, the murder of Chavistas and of people without political affiliation, were perpetrated day by day under the media disguise of “peaceful people protesting against the government”.
The violent escalation of the right wing was sustained by a colossal media arsenal throughout the world to convince people that the destruction, violence and death they inflicted was executed by the Bolivarian government and supposed paramilitary groups in their service. The objective, as with previous advanced coup attempts, was to overthrow the Bolivarian revolution and open the way for the US to retake control of the Venezuelan state and the country’s wealth.
In this context, the BDPHCh emerged as a proposal by La Corriente for nuclear power in the territories for grassroots people willing to defend the sovereignty and democracy of the country. This was an initiative to take organizational steps that would allow us as a people to be prepared to fulfil the sacred duty of defending the homeland from the aggressions of imperialism and the fascist right.
Today, two years after that foundational mobilization, the country continues to be subjected to U.S. aggression, which in effect has come to imply frontal threats of military intervention, increased illegal sanctions to suffocate the country’s economy, frontal theft of the country’s assets and financial resources, artificial support of a false parallel state, and the deepening of a paramilitary and mercenary advance over the national territory.
After two years of creation, more than 150 Popular Defense Brigades exist in different states of the country, with more than 1000 brigadistas incorporated into an intense daily activity.
As the vision of patriotic defense that guides the actions of the BDPHCh is integral, their actions are not limited to tasks of preparation for defense, but are focused, today, primarily on organizational tasks of a social and productive nature, as a contribution to confront the economic crisis and the blockade.
Thus, today more than 1000 BDPHCh brigadistas are deployed, first, in the realization of solidarity aid operations as a central part of the volunteering that pushes the Red Popular de Ayuda Solidaria, and second, in the support to the execution of the Conuquero plan of sowing and resistance, which entails the goal of more than 4000 hectares of crops such as corn, beans and rice in Barinas, Apure, Táchira and other states of the country.
These have been two years of intense effort to increase the unity of the Venezuelan people, the popular organization for solidarity, the productive battle for the productive recovery of the countryside, and lastly, two years of struggle for the defense of sovereignty, peace, democracy and the future of Venezuela.