Decree for the reorganization of the use and possesion of land for Agricultural use, set forth during the event: "!Free land and free men! Against latifundium"

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Protocol: Reading and signature of the presidential Decree by which the possession and use of agricultural land is reorganized. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Presidential Office, Decree Nº 3,408, January 10th 2005. Hugo Chávez Frías, President of the Republic.

In use of the faculties conferred to him by the articles 226, sections 2 and 11 of article 236, and articles 305, 306, and 307 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. In accordance with articles 47 and 71 of the Public Administration Act

Whereas: he Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Decree with status of the Law of Lands and Agrarian Development, stipulate the permanent and sustainable use of agricultural lands and the administration of such lands under shared responsibility of the Republic, the states, and the municipalities.

Whereas:The creation and execution of policies seeking to eradicate latifundium is a State and Constitutional matter, given that latifundium is contrary to social interest and public benefit from agricultural land, in that this system affects man in his fundamental rights, which the State as a whole has the obligation to preserve.

Whereas: All territorial political levels of the Venezuelan State, in their obligation to collaborate with one another in order to achieve its goals, must cooperate in the fair and equitable distribution of the possession of lands among those who are capable of working such lands and willing to do so efficiently, and to produce (within the biological cycle) goods for human consumption that benefit society and producers, with the purpose of achieving the Nation’s security in its food production agriculture.

Whereas: It is within the duties and faculties of the president of the Republic, as the highest authority of the National Executive branch, to establish the framework of coordinated action of the National Government with the administrations of the states and municipalities, in accordance with the laws currently in force, and with the federalist spirit of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; to consolidate the democratic and social State of law and justice, Decrees: Decree for the reorganization of the possession and use of agricultural land.

Article 1: This decree seeks to consider the process of reorganization of the possession and use of agricultural land in order to gradually eliminate latifundium in the rural areas of the country, to incorporate groups from the population and organized communities, guaranteeing a rational use of the natural resources, as well as of the resources of agricultural food production, through planning by different sectors of the national, state, and municipal administrations; and to cooperate in the application of policies on this matter.

Article 2: A temporary national agricultural commission, in coordination with the states and municipalities, shall incorporate idle, abandoned, and underutilized lands, to the productive process for the development of national agriculture; and shall formulate policies seeking both to gradually eradicate latifundium nationwide, and to allocate lands among groups of the population and organized communities, in pursuit of the productive and sustainable use of such lands.

Article 6: The commission shall request the intervention of the Ombudsman in all the necessary cases, in order to preserve the rights of citizens involved in the execution of this decree.

Article 8: This decree shall be in force upon its publication in the Official Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Article 9: The Minister of Agriculture is in charge of the execution of this decree. Given in Caracas on January 10th of 2005. Year 194 of the Independence and 147 of the Federation. Let this decree be executed. Hugo Chávez Frías.

Monday, February 10th ,2005