This week, Venezuela’s National Assembly (AN) unanimously approved the Law Against Racial Discrimination. The draft law was passed during a session that was attended by the Network of Afro-Descendents in Venezuela. The legislation will establish mechanisms to prevent, respond to, punish and eradicate racial discrimination by any person, group of persons, public authorities, private institutions and private institutions, and civil, economic, political, cultural, and social organizations.
“No one can say that in Venezuela there is no discrimination, that there is no racism. We have to strive for a value as fundamental as diversity, without lies, without hypocrisy”, said the vice president of the National Assembly, Congressman Aristobulo Isturiz.
Although members of the political opposition voted in favor of the law, some said that the government promotes “social discrimination”. That argument was refuted by Arcadio Montiel, member of Podemos, an opposition party. Montiel told his fellow conservatives that they should have enough courage to adopt the law.
In addition, the legislature also approved the agreement in support of peoples of African descent in Venezuela and the commemoration of 216 years of the liberal cause of Jose Leonardo Chirinos, a Venezuelan who led a revolt of of blacks and mulattos against the colonial authorities in 1795. The commemoration of that event has been celebrated as “Afro-Venezuelan Day” since 2005.