On Feb. 1, Venezuelans who are cognizant of the social struggle that preceded them will celebrate the life of Ezequiel Zamora, who was born exactly 200 years ago in 1817.
Zamora was a Venezuelan general, who on Feb. 20, 1859, began the advance of a five-year military campaign from western Venezuela, in the small city of Coro, which became known as the Federal War.
With massive support from peasants, the war represented one of the first battles against a repressive system that prioritized the needs of the wealthy few over that of the poor majority; Zamora's liberal federalists fought against the political elite conservatives.
The liberals consisted of two groups of people: those who wished to promote a bourgeois democratic regime interested in limiting the power of the oligarchs and the others were peasants, slaves and radicalized intellectuals, tired of the conservatives' monopoly and their reluctance to grant any reforms.
Campesinos march to defend their rights to land. | Photo: teleSUR
Zamora was a charismatic leader, who was a catalyst for reviving the combative and sovereign spirit of Venezuelans. His work with campesinos was, in part, what inspired former President Hugo Chavez to continue the struggle against the ever-dominant system that favors the privileged few, for example, with Venezuela's land law.
To this day, campesinos benefit from the work of Zamora. The Ezequiel Zamora National Farmer Front represents landless peasants, small and medium producers, fishermen, rural workers, communal councils, cooperatives, peasant settlements and individuals committed to the struggle for agrarian revolution, the construction of socialism and the development of socialist popular power.
As Ezequiel Zamora said, "Respect to the peasants! Horror to the oligarchy!"