Venezuelan anti-Chavez farmer dies after hunger strike


CARACAS, VENEZUELA (BNO NEWS) – A Venezuelan farmer died on Monday after 8 hunger strikes and six years of protest against President Hugo Chavez and his government’s land policies, Globovision Television reported on Tuesday.

Franklin Brito, 49, died at the Military Hospital in Caracas, Venezuela, where he had been secluded against his will for four months. Ten days ago, Brito’s body began to collapse and on late Monday he passed away.

Brito began his fight against the Chavez’ administration six years ago. During this period he endured eight hunger strikes, a mutilated finger and being victim of an irregular captivity. His relatives have not been allowed to see the body and the autopsy will be performed in the presence of Brito’s doctor.

The former farmer began his fight after his farm was expropriated as part of the government’s policy of redistributing land to the poor. The Venezuelan government had denied seizing Brito’s land and blamed the opposition of creating the controversy.

Relatives of the hunger striker released a statement where they claimed that President Chavez ignored Brito’s requests, as well as the ones from the family and international agencies, for allowing him to receive medical attention of his preference. Instead, he was confined to the military hospital surrounded by inhuman conditions.

Last year, an estimated 5,000 square kilometers of farmland that was previously in private hands was seized and redistributed.

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