Thousands of Venezuelans marched in a civic-military parade in Caracas’ historic Los Proceres park to mark 200 years since the birth of revolutionary campesino leader Ezequiel Zamora.
Over 5000 representatives of social movements and instances of popular power joined over 12 thousand Bolivarian National Armed Forces personnel in celebrating the legacy of “the people’s general”, who led an army of campesinos, slaves, and indigenous people against the country’s landed oligarchy during the Federal War (1859-1863).
Zamora was born on February 1, 1817 in the community of Cúa in Miranda state. On February 20, 1859, he commenced a five-year military campaign against the conservative central government, beginning in the small western, historically Afro-Venezuelan town of Coro. Among his army’s demands were land reform and free election of government officials, both of which were anathema to the nation’s oligarchic elites.
The general is best known for his victory at the battle of San Inés, where his “Army of the Sovereign People” defeated the far larger centralist force in what has been regarded as one of the most brilliant strategic triumphs of Venezuelan military history.
Zamora has become a key ideological referent for the Bolivarian Revolution, with late President Hugo Chávez oft repeating the campesino leader’s iconic battle slogans, including “Free Men and Land” and “Horror to the Oligarchy”.
All photos courtesy of Prensa Presidential unless otherwise specified.