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Venezuelan government takeover of Hato Pinero (1 Viewer)

Xenopsaris

Active member
Does anyone know more about the government takeover of Hato Pinero and other llano lodges recently? What will happen to these amazing ares? I can't find much mention of this on the internet. Regards, DT
 

Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
The Venezuelan government has an ongoing programme to take over sizeable private properties, private companies and infrastructure for "redistribution". This has affected the industrial sector (notably hydrocarbons, electricity, telecommunications, banks, cement production, steel, etc.) and tourism operations (lodges and cable-cars have been closed down) above all. As part of the nationalisation process, quite a few llanos properties have been targeted, including the three best known private conservation ranches: Hato El Frio, Hato El Cedral and Hato Piñero. Very little reliable information is available beyond the public declarations made by the President, Minister for Agriculture and Director of the Land Institute. These verbal communications indicate that Hato El Frio has been taken over and converted to a Socialist Production Unit (although everything seems to indicate the the government has been unable, in reality, to achieve this), Hato El Cedral is now majoritarily government-owned and functioning as a Socialist Formation Unit and over half (45,000ha) of Hato Piñero will be turned over to agricultural production as a Socialist Production Unit.

Existing ecological studies indicate that intensive agriculture is incompatible with conservation in these areas, so one would expect a decline in the conservation value of the properties once the government embarks upon its proposals. As part of the the Neomaps project, we have some permanent bird census plots in Hato Piñero, so we can potentially monitor the impact on the avifauna (and other taxonomic groups) in the future.

I hope this information is useful. There is more on BirdChat at http://listserv.arizona.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0901c&L=birdchat&P=2240 and a mention of this with comments at http://islaybirder.blogspot.com/2009/02/13th-february2009.html .
 
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Capercaillie71

Well-known member
It's been pretty depressing to hear about the threat to these places over the last few years. I visited Hato Pinero as a student in 1990 and it is probably the most fantastic site for birds and other wildlife that I have ever been to. Whatever the history of landownership in this area, surely the Venezuelan government can see the value of such a spectacular natural resource, even if just as a tourist attraction?
 
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Xenopsaris

Active member
I hear that Hato El Cedral is no longer worth visiting because the government has run it into the ground. A friend of mine there last year and encountered little interest in foreign tourists. Instead there was a large group of Venezuelan military invloved in a scheme for the indoctrination of socialist values and a few nationals who were more interested in the bar and pool than any excursions. What a wonderful place this once was. It is a real shame that the wildlife will suffer because of some ideological agenda.
 

Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
Yes, much as I hate to say it, I have heard much the same of El Cedral. One of my ornithological colleagues was just at the ranch with a group and reported that the ranch was very much deteriorated and given over to political instruction rather than conservation or ecotourism. Hato El Frio appears to be closed to all intents and purposes, while Piñero remains open for the moment. However, the fact that there has been no public declaration by the owners of Hato Piñero suggests that they are on the point of selling the ranch to the government. Given the current national context, we probably have to accept that the era of private conservation areas is now at an end.
 

Rasmus Boegh

BF member
However, the fact that there has been no public declaration by the owners of Hato Piñero.

There have been comments on the situation, incl. on the news section on their web-page (some remain, but if I remember right some have been deleted), but it hasn't been translated into English and has therefore been easy to miss if hitting En(glish) upon entering.
 

Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
Hello Rasmus! The owners challenged the original legal action to take the ranch off them in 2005 and asked myself and others for a professional opinion of the move, some of which was posted on their website. However, as far as I am aware, there has been no public reaction to the January declaration that 60% of the ranch is to be turned over to a Socialist Production Unit. If you have contrary information, please let me know. I should stress that Hato Piñero is operating as normal, though I would urge potential visitors to go there sooner rather than later.
 
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Capercaillie71

Well-known member
Regardless of any debate about how these ranches came to be in their previous private ownership, it's a real shame that the Venezuelan Government can't see either their intrinsic natural heritage value or their value as tourist attractions, and continue to manage them for conservation in public ownership. I'm sure Chavez would never consider diverting Angel Falls for a hydroelectric scheme, so why not maintain this other huge natural asset?
 

Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
I think the Venezuelan government DOES know the value of these properties - that is why they are seizing them. It is interesting that the government has not proceeded to take over any of the ranches that are not so well known.
 

vicente malagon

Well-known member
Hi. Just back from Hato Piñero. They are waiting for the final decision of the Chavez government, and expecting that in a few weeks (15-20 days) they will know it. By the moment the Hato works as usual.

Regards. Vicente.
 

Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
Hi. Just back from Hato Piñero. They are waiting for the final decision of the Chavez government, and expecting that in a few weeks (15-20 days) they will know it. By the moment the Hato works as usual.

Interesting Vicente! While I was away, the official decree for the expropriation of Hato El Frio was published, after a government commision returned a verdict of "suboptimal production". By law, both Hato El Cedral and Hato El Frio are now managed by "Socialist Agroecological Cooperatives", both recently created by executive decree. I have heard nothing further from Hato Piñero, except that negotiations are proceeding. Hatos El Cedral and Piñero are operating.
 

vicente malagon

Well-known member
Interesting Vicente! While I was away, the official decree for the expropriation of Hato El Frio was published, after a government commision returned a verdict of "suboptimal production". By law, both Hato El Cedral and Hato El Frio are now managed by "Socialist Agroecological Cooperatives", both recently created by executive decree. I have heard nothing further from Hato Piñero, except that negotiations are proceeding. Hatos El Cedral and Piñero are operating.

Hi Chris. I will ask some friends about what has happened in Piñero. I expect in a few days I'll be back with more news.

Vicente.
 

jurek

Well-known member
Terrible. I was in Hato Pinero last month. Fantastic site, with flocks of Yellow-knobbed Curassows running around like chicken. I hope for the best for this site!
 

Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
I just heard in a meeting over the weekend that the Land Institute (INTI) has backed off from Hato Piñero. So, for the moment at least, the land will remain under the same management regime.
 

Chris Sharpe

Well-known member
Just to up-date this a little, since several people have contacted me directly...

President Chavez announced on TV last month that Hatos El Cedral and El Frio were being cultivated with new rice plantations by their respective State Cooperatives with help from Vietnamese specialists. According to the President, each ranch had been sown with an initial area of 1,500 ha (c. 3,750 acres) of rice with a view to further expansion. I have not yet seen the areas that have been affected.

Yesterday I caught a radio interview with one of the staff of Invega, the company that used to run Hato El Frio in which they were drawing attention to a number of significant legal irregularities in the "repatriation" of that ranch. According to the interviewee there has been felling of forests and damage to wildlife. Most worryingly, they claimed that there is no longer any real control or monitoring of the property. Apparently, the repatriation document itself is illegal, the repossession was quite violent, none of the required legal studies were caried out and the government has still not either agreed or paid any kind of compensation. This is similar to the process of takeover of some other ranches.
 

HugoElMarxista

New member
Comrades this must not go with out comment and I therfore clarify. Here we must emphasize not with the nature but with revolusionary priorities of feeding our population, with democracy with human rights, and liberty. But most important with the alimentary security of the nation. As our neighbor country like Colombia and Guyana there population starve every time more in critical poverty, so Venezuelan's access to every time more freedom, democracy and social progress more security more food for our population. Thanks to the revolusionary Process of the Centrury XXI directed and lead by our Comander Hugo Rafael Chavez Frías, Venezuelan's find themself in a huge and complex process of national land reform, nationalization and property revolusion nationalization and redistruibution. We finish forever with colonialism, imperialism with latifundio and rich owners of extensive lands, we nationalise the means of production and wealth. To clarify for sure this is fully legal by Bolivarian revolusionary socialist law voted by a huge majority, in this case this process our government repatriate land titles of Hato Cedral and Hato El Frío in Apure Estate because of they not to satisfy <full production criteria> - 100% legal. Our revolusionary government by Decree create State Cooperative to cultivate land in the ranchs starting already in both ranch with 1.500 hectare of rice with Vietnam especialist cooperacion. Soon our State Cooperatives cultivate much more land and put these ranches finally to full production of autochthonous cultives such like rice, beans, corn, beef meat for Venezuela alimentary security for the people. Before this time both those properties was manage like personal garden for the rich were foreign turist go and no access for the real People. In the end nationalise, repatriate and take Stateb control of the Hatos is necesary and just. To finish it seems to me interesting that solely citizens of imperilist oligarquies like England still even with a monarquy protest these things that is our soberain national affair only. We are socialist revolusionary nation by national election and law. Oligarch elements of the ultra right conspire to criticize and insult our Bolivarian revolusionary government. We will defend revolusion with peace and democracy in the way.

As our great Father Bolívar expressed himself: "Si la naturaleza se opone, lucharemos contra ella y haremos que nos obedezca" - If nature oppose us we will fight against her and we will make her obey (Simón Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios)
 

Motmot

Eduardo Amengual
As our great Father Bolívar expressed himself: "Si la naturaleza se opone, lucharemos contra ella y haremos que nos obedezca" - If nature oppose us we will fight against her and we will make her obey (Simón Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios)

I thought the first part of your speech sounded like a ridiculous old times panflet until I got to the quoted end, an even older and nowadays very damaging Simon Bolivar's quote taken out of context.
Por cierto, la Santísima Trinidad y el marxismo no "pegan" muy bien en semejante discursito.
 

Quercus

homo sarkensis
Hi Hugo.... Welcome to Bird Forum..... Did Simon Bolivar have anything to say about birds?

Not all the English are imperial monachists, some of us are really quite nice!
 

vicente malagon

Well-known member
Hola Hugo. Bienvenido al Bird Forum. Tan sólo unos comentarios:

Primero. Todavía no habéis entendido a Bolívar. De hecho ya sabes cómo acabó sus días.

Segundo. Aún no entendéis que el progreso del pueblo va unido a la conservación de la naturaleza. ¿Acaso ignoras cómo se destrutó la naturaleza en la U.R.S.S.?

Tercero. ¿De verdad te crees que toda la tierra expropiada en los Hatos es tierra fértil que pueda llegar a abastecer a toda la población? Lo único que vais a conseguir es destruir la naturaleza que poseeis, y que es vuestro mejor legado. Quien destruye la naturaleza se destruye a sí mismo, y la riqueza natural que se pierde los es para siempre. En España sabemos mucho de eso.

Cuarto. Espero que el comandante Chávez sepa la final cómo conducir el barco que tiene entre manos. Sería una pena ver que al final el pueblo venezolano no sólo no haya podido salir de la pobreza a la que le han condenado, sino que además habéis "quemado" vuestras riquezas en un nuevo experimento comunista que, no te equivoques, no tiene nada de democrático.

Saludos desde España y ojalá que todo mejore en tu maravilloso pais. Aquí hay mucha gente que os quiere y que sufre con vosotros, pero también que ve que ése no es el camino.

Vicente.

Hi Hugo. Welcome to the Bird Forum. Some comments about Venezuela:

First. You don't understand the message of Bolívar. One hundred and fifty years ago the people of America still doesn't understand him. In fact, just remember the last days of Bolívar.

Second. The progress of the people means the conservation of the nature. Don't you know how the nature was destroyed in the U.S.S.R.?

Third. Really, do you still believe that the expropriated land of the Hatos is fertile and could help the people to remove poverty? The only thing that you're going to obtain is to destroy the venezuelan nature, your best inheritance. The people who destroys their nature is destroying their own future, and it's forever. In Spain we know very well what does it mean.

Fourth. I wish that Hugo Chávez knows how to ride the ship that he's managing. It'll be a big shame if at the end people's situation will continue as in the past and after having burnt the best of your natural legacy. Remember, your communist experiment isn't as democratic as you guess.

All the best from Spain, for you and all the marvellous people of Venezuela. We are with you, but this is not the way.

Vicente.
 

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