Posted by Amy Letter at 1:29 PM
According to the New York Times, the people resettling on rich people's land in Venezuela are "peasants."
The violence has gone both ways in the struggle, with more than 160 peasants killed by hired gunmen in Venezuela, including several here in northwestern Yaracuy State, an epicenter of the land reform project, in recent years. Eight landowners have also been killed here.I find it upsetting that for the last 30 years Central and South America's poor have been enslaved and murdered by right-wing governments who've taken all the land for US baby food profits and their own empowerment, and the US has minimized the issue and silently helped the rich and militant.
But I find it yet more upsetting that, when a left-wing government is elected in Venezuela, and they begin reversing the process, suddenly it's a big deal, and the US government is all "on" that shit. (See, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised")
Now I know that the literal English translation of the Spanish word "campesino" is "peasant." I also know that any good dictionary warns that the literal translation, in English, carries other, offensive, connotations, and that "campesino" is better translated as "farmer" - its main Spanish connotation.
But I still can't help but see that the NY Times is calling the poor "peasants" (not to mention "squatters") while the rich 5% who own 80% of Venezuela's land are described only has having learned their English at US universities.
Which means even they wouldn't call the campesinos "peasants."