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Analysis: Indigenous and Afro-Venezuelans

Venezuela’s Indigenous Pemon are Caught in Time on Land Too Valuable for Numbers

A pemon boy rests on the way to Mt. Roraima. (Benjamin Mast)
In the shadow of Columbus Day, writer Z.C. sketches, through interviews, an intimate portrait of a changing people – the Pemon of Venezuela’s mineral-rich Southeastern border. Their testimonies of struggle reflect the country’s changing political landscape and highlights a stark generational gap that afflicts many of Latin America’s first nation peoples.

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Aftermath of a Venezuela-Style Lynching

Caption: Unidentified emergency medical technician attempts to protect Muñoz. (Carlos Becerra/Demotrix)

Almost three months have passed since an enraged right-wing mob brutally beat law student William Muñoz (30), then doused him with gasoline. It was a scene horrifically reminiscent of lynchings that have murdered thousands of Black people in the U.S.

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11th Annual World Poetry Festival in Venezuela Pays Homage to Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka (Julian C. Wilson/AP) reporter Arlene speaks to lead participants of the World Poetry Festival happening now in Caracas on the life of Amiri Baraka, revolutionary poet and founder of Black Arts movement in the U.S. Artists recall Baraka's visits to Venezuela and explain the impact his writings had on Latin American revolutionaries.

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Afro-Youth, Afro-Venezuelanness and Afro-Autonomy

afrodescendant youth

Jesus Chucho Garcia, Venezuelan author, commentator, professor, co-founder of the AfroVenezuelan Network and former Ambassador to Angola, frequently contributes to Aporrea and other publications. As May, the month of Afrovenezuelaness, closes, these excerpts from Garcia’s recent commentaries provide perspective on the political direction of the Afrovenezuelan movement for May and beyond.

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Afrodescendant Group of Venezuela’s National Institute of Women Make Contact with Remote Community

From left to right: Yeisenia Soto, Gisela León and school staff. Photo by Arlene Eisen

Outsiders rarely visit Quebrada Fo Fa, an Afrodescendant community some 30 kilometers of unpaved road away from the main highway between Caracas and the better known coastal towns of Barlovento. On May 22, staff from the Afrodescendant Group of the National Institute of Women (INAMUJER), based in Caracas,  travelled to Quebrada Fo Fa  to establish ties with community members there.

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Venezuela’s Afro Descendent Front Proposes Program of Action to Confront Racism and Fascism

Camacho handing Maduro the Manifesto (AVN)

On Saturday, May 10, ignoring the rain, more than 1000 African Descendant Venezuelans flooded the streets to mark the official Day of Afrovenezolanidad (Afro-Venezuelaness).'s Arlene Eisen reports.

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Why Are There No Barricades in Afro-Descendant Communities?

Foreign Minister Elias Jaua visits Barlovento (La Voz)

In these 15 years of the Bolivarian process, afro-descendant Venezuelans have been dignified in an unprecedented way in Venezuelan history. 

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Racism Sin Vergüenza in the Venezuelan Counter-Revolution

Racism in San Bernadino, it reads "Against the moneky, the blacks and the poor - PJ (Justice First Party)" (La Voz del

Racism is one of the main engines and expressions of the current counter-revolution. In Venezuela the revolutionary struggle to end white supremacy and for self-determination is slow, and complicated by white elites, backed by US imperialism, and by the denial of many that racism persists.

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Chávez and Sabino Show the Way

Two losses this week: Hugo Chavez and Sabino Romero (archive)

Compañeros, the greatest libertarian teacher of the Venezuelan people has died, and two days earlier an equally important teacher… Chávez and Sabino show the way.

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Conflicts and Conundrums: How the Venezuelan State Must Strike the Balance With its Indigenous People

Yukpa indigenous people in the Sierra of Perijá

What Venezuela currently faces is a dilemma also known and lived by many other neighbouring Latin countries, wherein the need for progress and development essential to guarantee national sovereignty and economic might is challenged by the equally important endeavour to safeguard the environment, natural resources and the indigenous populations that inhabit the same regions.

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African Descendents and Racism in Venezuelan Private Media

This interview examines the extent and ways that Venezuela is still affected by racism following the publication of a racist cartoon by a private newspaper.

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The Racism behind the Discourse of the Oligarchy against Chavez

For the sector of society that has it all and no one has taken it from them, the real problem is that a “zambo” [a person of mixed African and native American origin] governs them.

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Indigenous Policy in Venezuela: Between Unity and Pluralism

Indigenous spokespeople, Venezuela (archive)

In celebration of the Day of Indigenous Resistance on October 12th, the Venezuelan government announced numerous initiatives aimed at assisting and empowering indigenous communities. While such initiatives as well as rights guaranteed in the constitution have successfully come to fruition in many indigenous communities, they have faced obstacles in others.

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Learning in the Wilds: Venezuela’s First Indigenous University

Every morning, groups of tribespeople cross a jungle creek from their adobe student homes and wander barefoot through the thick undergrowth inhabited by boa constrictors to reach class at Venezuela’s first indigenous university in Cano Tauca.

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Afro-Venezuelans and the Struggle Against Racism

In this Fact Sheet released by the Venezuelan Embassy in the United States, readers are provided details as to the unprecedented progress being made in combating the historical legacy of racism and recognizing the national importance of Venezuela's African heritage. 

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