Declaration of the International Solidarity Mission of La Via Campesina in Venezuela, Friday 31 January 2020) The delegation of La Via Campesina composed of 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 community that we have concluded the First International Solidarity Mission in Venezuela, carried out from 20 to 27 January, where we visited various regions of the country, in the states of Lara, Portuguesa, Barinas and Apure.

La Via Campesina is a movement that brings together peasant organizations on five continents, with special emphasis on the struggle for food sovereignty and the rights of the people in the face of the unbridled advance of capitalism and imperialism, the predators of life on the planet. In this sense, the objective of the Solidarity Mission in Venezuela was to learn about the consequences and impacts generated by the blockade of the United States and Europe against the Venezuelan people.

The First Mission, a milestone for La Via Campesina, has allowed us to see in the territories the high level of organization of the National Peasant Front Ezequiel Zamora (FNCEZ), part of the Revolutionary Current Bolivar and Zamora (CRBZ) and member of La Via Campesina. They made possible meetings with the different actors that promote and sustain the process of the Bolivarian Revolution in defense of National Sovereignty.

The Mission also had the opportunity to delve deeper into the organizations of the Bolivarian popular resistance. We met with comrades from the “El Maizal” commune (in the states of Lara and Portuguesa); the “Los Colonos” Cooperative Association and  the “Paulo Freire” Latin American University Institute of Agro-ecology (IALA), as well as the socialist agro-tourist commune of “Pie de Monte Andino”, the “Víctor Ojeda” Peasant’s Settlement (in the state of Barinas); and the “Simón Bolívar” Peasant’s Communal City (in the state of Apure). These projects are part of the National Productive Alliance (ANP), an initiative of the FNCEZ- CRBZ to promote productivity and food sovereignty in the communities.

In each of the initiatives we visited, we observed the awareness of the Venezuelan people, their sense of dignity, sovereignty and autonomy, which is also demonstrated by the Bolivarian National Militia, which has a strong peasant and territorial component and includes millions of people.

We also saw the dynamics of organization and productive work of the peasantry, which they have managed to establish as part of the actions of resistance, considering that the economic blockade transcends the plane of food and human development in general. The rescue and development of Peasant Agriculture, towards Agroecology and Food Sovereignty acquire special relevance in the current context.

Furthermore, we value and welcome the recognition of the local organizations to the “IALA Paulo Freire” in relation to the exchange and dialogue of knowledge about peasant agriculture, recovering that knowledge of the people around chemical-free production. This space for internationalist agro-ecological political formation is the first reference point in Latin America, which became a reality thanks to the sensitivity of the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela in the early 2000s. It is now a way of confronting the crisis and succeeding in supplying peasant families and popular markets, as well as guaranteeing food for educational centers through the relationship with the national government.

La Via Campesina reaffirms its solidarity with the FNCEZ of the CRBZ and the Venezuelan peasantry in general. We are confident that this period of crisis, largely a consequence of the US blockade, will come to an end, and that Venezuela will be able to determine its economic and human development in a sovereign manner and with its dignity upheld.

We must internationalize the struggle, internationalize hope!

La Via Campesina