Maduro’s Victory is ‘Liberation of All the Americas’

Source:  TeleSUR
May 21 2018

maduro wins may 2018.jpg

The Dominican Committee of Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela said Maduro’s win is a victory for Latin American and Caribbean peoples.

The Dominican Committee of Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela issued a statement to congratulate “Comrade Nicolas Maduro” on victory in the Venezuelan presidential elections.

RELATED:   Bolivia’s Morales: Maduro’s Victory a Triumph Over Intervention

“The Dominican Republic celebrates the recent victory with all of Venezuela, all Venezuelans, and all Latin Americans despite imperialist threats and the isolated echoes of its deceptive allies,” the Committee of Solidarity expressed.

The organization reiterated solidarity with the people of the Bolivarian Republic, citing Maduro’s win as a victory in the continued fight of Latin America and the Latin American and Caribbean peoples.

The committee also said that the endurance of the “revolutionary Chavista and socialist” mantra was a positive move towards the “liberation of all the Americas.”

Members of the Dominican Committee of Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution.

The statement added that President Maduro’s victory is demonstrative of the people of Venezuela’s commitment to commemorating the ideals of Commander Hugo Chavez – a future of peace, unity, and solidarity among Venezuelans, and by extension all Latin American and Caribbean peoples.

Venezuela’s successful electoral process, the release says, incubates the strengthening of Interamerican institutions like Unasur, ALBA, and Celac by reinforcing the democracy between its national institutions.  The solidarity committee noted that President Maduro is embarking on a new six-year term confirming the will of the Venezuelan people to be free,indepemdent,sovereign and socialist.

In conclusion,, the organization highlighted a shared triumph with fearless people of Venezuela, Maduro, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela as well as Latin America and the wider Caribbean.

 

Chávez lives on in the unity of revolutionaries

Source:  Granma
March 12 2018

Fidel, Raúl, Chávez and Maduro: Four giants of our time. Photo: Anabel Díaz

Five years after his passing, neither the figure or legacy of Hugo Chávez have been forgotten, because the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, together with other liberators who have passed through these lands, will be there right beside progressive forces in his country and Our America as they continue their struggles.

From his native Venezuela to Cuba, which welcomed him as a son, various tributes were held to recall not the death, but the life of this tireless revolutionary.

In the Cuban capital, Chávez was honored in a ceremony at the University of Havana’s Aula Magna, which saw the participation of Dr. Eusebio Leal, Havana City Historian; Venezuelan Ambassador to Cuba Alí Rodríguez Araque; members of the diplomatic corps and various friends of the Bolivarian Revolution.

There, Leal, one of the first Cubans to meet Comandante Chávez, recalled the conversation he had with the Venezuelan leader during their last encounter, during which Chávez stated: “I want to live, for my homeland and for Cuba.”

Nor could the historian forget to mention the strong ties between two great men that fought for Cuba and Latin American and Caribbean integration, recalling the great friendship that existed between these “two forces of nature” – Chávez and Fidel Castro.

Such was the strength of the bond between Chávez and Cuba, that Fidel described the former President of Venezuela as the island’s greatest friend, the Cuba intellectual recalled, who went on to note that despite having other friends and acquaintances, some self-interested, Cuba never had as good and selfless a friend as Chávez.

Just like every March 5, the people of Venezuela gathered at the Cuartel de la Montaña to pay tribute to Chávez.Photo: AVN

A man who stood in solidarity with the people of Latin America, we are indebted to Chávez, and it is our moral duty not to betray him, stated Leal.

The Havana City Historian, citing José Martí, stressed that “Death is not real when one’s life work is fulfilled,” and explained, in a touching speech, that we must remember the victorious Chávez; the Chávez that in the midst of a torrential downpour, and in ill health, was able to give everything and draw strength from his own weakness.

Meanwhile, the people of Venezuela awoke early this Monday, to commemorate five years since the passing of Comandante Hugo Chávez, and just like every March 5, they gathered at the Cuartel de la Montaña to pay tribute to the man, father, friend and Bolivarian leader.

Also present there just before the beginning of the 15th ALBA-TCP Summit, was another key figure of Latin American and Caribbean integration and dear friend of Chávez, Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Regarding his comrade in the struggle, the indigenous leader had nothing but words of praise: “We will never again see these qualities anywhere in the world.”

And there, just as happens every day at the Cuartel de la Montaña, also known as Cuartel 4F – in reference to the civil-military rebellion led by Chávez on February 4, 1992 – a canon salute was held at 4:25 p.m., marking the time the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution died.

Heads of State attending the 15th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Agreement at Miraflores Palace, as well as people from across the world, also paid tribute to Chávez this March 5.

In Nicaragua, thousands of citizens including members of government and Sandinista youth, gathered in the center of Managua, where a rose was laid in remembrance of a great friend of the country and of President Daniel Ortega.

Meanwhile, a photographic exhibition was inaugurated at the Venezuelan Embassy in Beijing, featuring images of the Cuartel de la Montaña, where the remains of the Bolivarian Comandante rest.

Social media also offered a platform to remember and honor Chávez, with users sending heartfelt messages under the hashtag #A5AñosDeTuSiembraComandante throughout the day.

Clement Payne Movement (Barbados): Our Duty To Defend Venezuela

CLEMENT  PAYNE  MOVEMENT

(OF  BARBADOS}

PRESS  RELEASE

Our Duty To Defend Venezuela 

maduro chavez y bolivar 2.jpg

Our Duty To Help Solve the Guyana – Venezuela Border Dispute

In a letter to the Editor published in the 28th of February 2018 edition of Guyana’s Kaieteur News, a Mr Earl Hamilton identifies me– David Comissiong– as a “Vincentian political activist”, and accuses me of suffering from “a gross and unfathomable ignorance of current affairs and geo politics” in light of my having publicly chastised President David Granger for breaking ranks with the majority of CARICOM states and joining with the American dominated “Lima Group” of countries at the Organization of American States (OAS) to attack and vilify the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

As far as Mr Hamilton is concerned, the fact that there is a border dispute in existence between Guyana and Venezuela must be taken into consideration, and justifies whatever position President Granger’s administration has adopted against Venezuela in the international arena. Well, I beg to differ.

And I disagree, not because I am anti-Guyanese, or in any way ignorant of the border dispute or insensitive to Guyanese interests and concerns in relation to the border issue. In fact just the opposite is the truth!

To begin with, I am not a “Vincentian political activist”. I am, in fact, a Barbadian Attorney-at-Law ( born in St Vincent) who has a deep and profound family connection with Guyana. In addition, I am widely known in Barbados (and in Guyana) for my legal and political advocacy in defense of Caribbean migrants in Barbados– particularly Guyanese.

Furthermore, I have written about the Guyana / Venezuela border dispute on several occasions, and to the best of my recollection a couple of these Releases were published in the Kaieteur News.

The Press Releases that I have recently been involved in authoring– “Are Guyana, St Lucia and Jamaica the three blind mice of CARICOM’ and “An Urgent Letter to the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Haiti”— are ,however, not about the Guyana / Venezuela border dispute at all !

Rather, they are about the folly and infamy of a number of Caribbean states  (principally Jamaica, Guyana and St Lucia) being used by the Trump Administration (and its multi-millionaire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of Exxon Mobil fame) to attack Venezuela in the most unprincipled manner, with the intention of bringing down the Socialist Government and once again getting their dirty imperialistic hands on Venezuela’s vast oil resources.

I ask the questions — What do the Guyanese people know about this “Lima Group of states” that Guyana is now a part of? And what has become of the CARICOM principle of forging a collective CARICOM position on important international issues that the late Forbes Burnham so strenuosly championed?

Are the Guyanese people aware that their Government recently lined up behind Trump’s USA at the OAS to pass a Resolution that was cynically designed to cause as much damage and subversion in Venezuela as possible– a Resolution that was deliberately premised on the patently false and fraudulent notion that there is such a breakdown of democratic order, rule of law, and social peace in Venezuela, that the Presidential elections that are scheduled for the 22nd of April 2018 will not be democratic, transparent and fair.

The said “Resolution of infamy” also encouraged and portended an illegal and subversive intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela with its demand that the Venezuelan Government postpone the Presidential election and open the country up to interventionist so-called “assistance” from OAS member states that are hostile to the Bolivarian Government.

My colleagues in the Caribbean Peace Movement and I believe that this myopic and unprincipled vote on the part of  not only Guyana, but of Jamaica, St. Lucia, Barbados, and the Bahamas as well, is not only a despicable betrayal of CARICOM’s traditional principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and respect for other nations’ right to self-determination, but that it is also a betrayal of a friend who has extended to us badly needed assistance through the Petro Caribe Energy Cooperation Agreement and other forms of aid to foster the development and  prosperity of our peoples.

The fact that Guyana has a border dispute with Venezuela does not give the government of Guyana the right to abandon fundamental principles of International Law, to disregard Guyana’s proud historical record of socialist internationalism and Third World solidarity, and to side with what is perhaps the most reprehensible imperialist Government in the world today– the Trump administration of the USA– to unjustly attack and subvert a sister Caribbean and Latin American nation.

And surely, the Guyanese people must know that the border dispute with Venezuela is a hold over from the colonial past , and that it was inherited by the Administrations of Chavez and Maduro, just as it was inherited by the Granger Administration. The Guyanese people must also be aware that in the past it was cynical imperialist Administrations in the USA and Britain that encouraged the then conservative, capitalist, right wing Government of Venezuela to dredge up the border dispute in order to use it against what they perceived to be the radical socialist Government of Cheddi Jagan !

It is a bold faced fiction– otherwise known as a lie– that the socialist Administration of Nicolas Maduro has adopted an aggressive anti-Guyana position on the border issue. This “bold faced fiction” had its genesis when the newly elected and precariously poised APNU+AFC government suddenly made a dramatic announcement in which they claimed that Maduro had issued a Presidential decree unequivocally laying claim to the disputed territory.

Unlike virtually every single one of the Media houses of the Caribbean, I did not simply accept the word of the Granger Administration, but made it my business to go and read an English translation of the actual text of the Presidential Decree.

The first thing I discovered was that the Maduro decree (Decree No. 1.787 of 8th June 2015) was NOT specifically about Guyana or about Venezuela’s border with Guyana at all ! The Decree was actually devoted to outlining a comprehensive organizational model that the Government of Venezuela had recently decided to employ in organizing its defense of its national territory and maritime waters. However, prior to outlining the structure of this new national defense mechanism, the Presidential Decree stated as follows:-

“The territory and other geographical spaces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela are those corresponding to the Captaincy General of Venezuela before the political transformation begun on April 19, 1810, with the modification from treaties, agreements and arbitral awards not vitiated nullity.

“The Venezuelan State recognizes the existence of maritime areas pending for delimitation in accordance with international agreements and treaties signed by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and that require attention by the Venezuelan State until the achievement of final friendly boundary demarcation.”

In other words, in the very text of President Maduro’s Decree was an acknowledgment that some of the territory and maritime space claimed by Venezuela is still under dispute, and that its ultimate ownership is dependent on the outcome of the “friendly boundary demarcation” process– obviously a reference to the “Geneva Accord” process.

Furthermore, in order to make the Venezuelan position absolutely clear, the following paragraph appeared in the second publication of the Decree:–

“However, there exists a maritime area pending for delimitation, which will be determined once the pending dispute is resolved between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, according to the 1966 Geneva Agreement….”

The socialist Government of Venezuela had therefore made it extremely clear that it is committed to amicably and lawfully negotiating its boundary dispute with Guyana, and that it had no intention of seeking to use its larger size and greater material power to impose its will on Guyana!

A boundary dispute is a very very difficult thing to resolve, because no national government can contemplate the idea of going back to their people and telling them that they have negotiated away territory that the people believe to be their sacred national patrimony. And so, it will require much good faith, adherence to principle, and feelings of mutual respect and regard as two Third World / Caribbean and Latin American peoples on both sides of the Essequibo border to bring this matter to a successful resolution.

The last thing– the very last thing– that we need in this very difficult and sensitive process of negotiating and resolving the Guyana / Venezuela border dispute is the obnoxious, ill-intentioned, and imperialistic interference of outsider nations like the United States of America.

DAVID  COMISSIONG

Attorney-at-Law

Clement Payne Chambers

Crumpton Street

Bridgetown

Barbados

US Lawmakers Predictably Take Aim at Petro as Iran, Russia Consider Following Venezuela’s Lead

Source:  TeleSUR
February 24 2018

marco rubio us republican senator.jpgU.S. Republican Senator Marco Rubio. | Photo: Reuters

 Russia and Iran have expressed interest in developing their own digital currencies to help combat U.S.-imposed sanctions.

Democratic United States Senator Bob Menendez and his Republican counterpart, Marco Rubio, have co-authored a letter denouncing Venezuela’s newly-launched cryptocurrency, the Petro, and requesting that the Treasury Department closely monitor its progress. The lawmakers also made suggestions on the measures the agency can take to undermine the success of the digital currency, which has raised over US $1 billion for the South American country since it was launched on Tuesday.

RELATED:  Iran, Russia Consider Developing Own Cryptocurrencies

During a hearing convened by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs earlier this month, Menendez also made his intention to subvert the Petro in any way he can clear. Jay Clayton, Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, and Christopher Giancarlo, Commodity Future Trading Commission chairman, declined to respond whether their agencies could undercut the Petro, Giancarlo assured that his “would certainly look at” the cryptocurrency to guarantee that it doesn’t swindle U.S. buyers.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department had issued a statement on Petro in January. It read that “a currency with these characteristics would appear to be an extension of credit to the Venezuelan government” – a measure forbidden by U.S. sanctions – and that “U.S. persons that deal in the prospective Venezuelan digital currency may be exposed to U.S. sanctions risk.”

In reference to the Petro, a spokesperson for Menenedez said: “We continue to look for ways to prevent the Maduro regime from brazenly evading U.S. sanctions and plan to follow up with the Department of Treasury following their issuing of these guidelines.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said the goal of the Petro is to combat sanctions and the “economic war” waged by the U.S. government and its junior partners against his country and advancing “on issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”

The launch of the Petro was announced in December. It is regulated by the Superintendence of Cryptocurrencies and Related Activities, as well as the Blockchain Observatory.

Russia and Iran have expressed interest in developing their own digital currencies to help combat U.S.-imposed sanctions, following this week’s successful launch of Venezuela’s first cryptocurrency. Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, head of Iran’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, said the test model for a “cloud-based digital currency” is currently under development and will be submitted to the Iranian bank system soon.

The Iranian official announced the move following a meeting with the state-owned Post Bank of Iran on Wednesday, according to NPR.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan Financial Minister Simon Zerpa Delgado was in Russia this week, where he spoke with officials about strengthening collaboration and about the Latin American nation’s newly launched cryptocurrency.

Russian officials have previously exchanged ideas about issuing some kind of digital equivalent of the ruble to circumvent U.S. sanctions, according to The New York Times.
China and Singapore have also expressed interest in creating their own forms of cryptocurrency, but experts say the nations will wait to judge Venezuela’s success with the Petro before bringing their own versions to market.

Cryptocurrencies typically are not backed by any government or central bank, nor are they regulated. However, the U.S. Security and Exchanges Commission has been increasingly tracking digital currencies, classing some tokens as securities, thus making them subject to oversight.

Maduro said: “We have taken a giant step into the 21st Century… We are on the world’s technological vanguard.”

Venezuela: Petro Sales Exceed $1 Billion in Just Two Days

Source:  TeleSUR
February 23 2018

Petro logo.jpgThe new Venezuelan cryptocurrency ‘Petro’ logo is seen at a facility of the
Youth and Sports Ministry in Caracas. | Photo: Reuters

Venezuelan President Maduro said almost one million people have visited the Petro website since the currency’s launch two days ago.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that his government has raised US$1 billion in the first two days of its “Petro” cryptocurrency sale.

RELATED:  Venezuela Earns $735m in a Day From Petro Cryptocurrency Sales

“We already have offers and negotiations that exceed US$1 billion, in just two days, far exceed US$1 billion, here in the hand, cold and hard,” said Maduro in a brief speech on Facebook live.

Each day that passes “that will grow, that’s US$1 billion … that go directly to the resources of the Republic,” added the president.

The Venezuelan government issued the digital currency in response to the financial sanctions applied by the United Statesand European Union, which prevent its citizens from acquiring new debt from the oil nation and limited the movements of Caracas’ money in global banking.

Maduro said that in the first two days since the launch of the digital currency, “292,000 Petro purchase option offers have been made, of which 36 percent have been made in dollars, 15 percent in euros, 18 percent in Ethereum, and 31 percent in Bitcoin.”

RELATED:  Venezuela to Launch Second Cryptocurrency: ‘Petro Gold’

The cryptocurrency has generated interest in several countries, such as ColombiaChinaSpain and Palestine after the Venezuelan government launched a private presale of 38.4 million Petros of the total 100 million released, which will extend until March 19.

“Just today 950,000 people entered the page to interconnect, download information from the Petro, which is a positive phenomenon, a monetary, political, economic, psychological phenomenon in the path of the new economy,” Maduro concluded.

The launch of the Petro was announced in December. It is regulated by the Superintendence of Cryptocurrencies and Related Activities, as well as the Blockchain Observatory.

Cryptocurrencies typically are not backed by any government or central banks, nor are they regulated. However, the U.S. Security and Exchanges Commission has been increasingly tracking digital currencies, classifying some tokens as securities, thus making them subject to oversight.

Venezuela: 82.4M Units of Petro Cryptocurrency Available

Source:  TeleSUR
February 20 2018

petro cryptocurrencyThe new Venezuelan cryptocurrency the Petro logo is seen on a monitor
during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela, January 31, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

The Venezuelan Government has officially announced the pre-sale of the Petro (PTR) cryptocurrency – the first commodity-secured currency of its kind in the world.

RELATED:  Venezuela’s Cryptocurrency Attracts Middle Eastern, US Investors

nicolas maduro 33.jpg“The Petro is born and we are going to have a total success for the welfare of Venezuela,” President Nicolas Maduro said. The President added that it will be a “very busy” day since the government will be working on forging strategic alliances.

The manual of acquisition and commercialization of the Petro will now be available and will begin the pre-sale of this digital currency with 82.4 million units available. The manual is available for download in several languages.

“The largest and most important companies and Blockchain in the world are with Venezuela, we are going to sign agreements,” Maduro expressed. “Six weeks ago I announced the creation of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency,” the president adding that the government had been working to launch the currency since then.

Maduro previously announced that the value of the entire Petro issuance of 100 million tokens would be just over US$6 billion.

The cryptocurrency, which will be backed by the oil resources of the country, aims to begin a new economic era in the nation.

Vice President of the Republic, Tareck El Aissami, launched the pre-sale process for the Venezuelan cryptocurrency, early Tuesday.

The Petro was created by the Venezuelan Government to counter the financial blockade imposed by the United States, attract investments and generate a new payment mechanism for goods and services.

The Venezuelan Government says the Petro is the foundation of a policy to promote development and infrastructure as well as the training of young people in electronic mining, coding, cryptography, network security and economics.

Carlos Vargas, who will manage the government’s cryptocurrency, said the presale and initial offer will be made in hard currencies and cryptocurrencies, but not bolivars.

“Our responsibility is to put (the Petro) in the best hands and then a secondary market will appear,” he said, explaining that the Petro could be sold in exchange for local currency after the initial sale.

The cryptocurrency will be redeemable for fiduciary money and other crypto-assets through digital exchange locations.

How to acquire the Petro?

Get a digital Petro wallet. Your Petro wallet will generate an email address that you can share with anyone who wants to transfer PTR to your wallet. You will be able to receive and deposit PTRs using the e-mail address.

Through an exchange of Petro ERC20 tokens acquired in the presale.

Purchase in the Initial Offer open to the participation of the general public.

In the secondary market once the initial offer process has ended.

The Chavistas Who Toppled Columbus: Venezuela’s Fight Against Colonialism

Source:  TeleSUR
October 11 2017

the chavistas who toppled columbusVenezuelan demonstrators use ropes to take down a Christopher Columbus
statue in Caracas, Venezuela, October 12, 2004. | Photo: Reuters

Long before the statues were taken down in the U.S., social movements in Venezuela removed all monuments from Caracas.

Five centuries ago, Christopher Columbus embarked on his third voyage of conquest, planting the flag of Spain in the Paria Peninsula — now present-day Venezuela — on August 1, 1498

After 506 years, on October 12, 2004 — the Day of Indigenous Resistance, previously marked in Columbus’ honor — the Italian colonizer was “brought to trial” in the streets of the country where he first landed.

RELATED: Anti-Columbus Protests Sweep the Americas
On that day, a 9-meter high statue of Columbus, in downtown Caracas, was toppled from where it had stood for decades.

 

Mock trial of Columbus

Several social movements held a mock trial and “prosecuted” Columbus, declared him “guilty”, demolished his stone incarnate, bathed it in red paint and dragged it to the nearby Teresa Carreno Theater, where it was hung.

Long before activists would take to doing the same to Columbus statues in the United States, their counterparts in Caracas had set the stage: by 2009, every monument dedicated to the conqueror in the Venezuelan capital had been removed.

It was in 2004 that the late socialist President and leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chavez, changed October 12 from the day that celebrated Columbus and the history of colonialism, to the Day of Indigenous Resistance.

It was in reaction to this move that social movements in the city took to topple the statue.

“There was a very strong revolutionary spirit in Venezuela at that time,” Katrina Kozarek, a reporter at Venezuela Analysis, who along with Cooperativa Calle Y Media created a documentary about the event, told teleSUR.

“People wanted concrete action, not just symbolic,” she added.

Cooperativa Calle Y Media’s film, titled, “Down With Colonialism: Pachamama Libre”

Still, the action held tremendous significance for many.

“It was an act of symbolic justice,”  Angel Montiel, a member of the Organization of Indigenous Youth of Venezuela said at the time. “It represented invasion and genocide in our land.”

Soon after the statue’s destruction, hundreds of Indigenous people and their allies took to the streets to sing and dance to commemorate the act of resistance, chanting “Justice for the people, justice for the people!”

Protesters had drawn parallels between Columbus and then-U.S. president George W. Bush, calling on both to “get out” of Venezuela.

On that day, Indigenous groups also presented a formal request to the city’s mayor to have the decimated statue replaced with that of the Indigenous chief Guaicaipuro — who five centuries ago had led the resistance against Spanish colonialism — a promise that was fulfilled in 2015 under President Nicolas Maduro.

nicolas maduro 2017.jpg

Police, however, who at that time were “very much a reactionary force, still in the hands of the opposition”, explained Kozarek, responded by spraying tear gas at the crowd. Five people were also arrested for taking part.

In response to the arrests, a statement released by the 90 people who claimed responsibility for the act, declared, “We respond by saying that accusations of vandalism, wherever they come from, we reject them absolutely.”

chavistas topple columbus' statue.jpgProtesters prepare to topple the statue.
| Photo: courtesy of Katrina Kozarek

“We are absolutely proud of what we have done, since it is finally destroyed … one of the strongest symbols of what has been the genocidal, exploitative, dehumanizing, deconstructive and truly vandalic exercise of all the imperialisms that have plagued this planet of misery,” it continued. “And in particular the processes of conquest and extermination of more than 70 million human beings … and the death of more than 30 million original inhabitants of Africa, brought as slaves, from the day that this Spanish ‘national hero’ put his boots on these lands.”

Chavez’s response

Still, it was also Chavez who initially rejected the act as one of “anarchy”.

The Venezuelan leader’s main concern at the time, however, explained Kozarek, was “reaction from the opposition”, who supported keeping statues of Columbus.

“The country was just coming out of the coup d’etat,” she explained, adding that the Bolivarian government had viewed the toppling as a surprising, risky act given the response it could have incited from the opposition, following their attempts to oust the government in 2002.

Later, Chavez would come out to approve the action, praising it and calling Columbus “genocidal.”

hugo chavez 1.jpgThe leader of the country’s Bolivarian revolution had always repudiated Columbus, having also called the figure “genocidal” in the past.

“They taught us to admire Christopher Columbus,” Chavez later said in a 2007 televised address. “In Europe, they still speak of the ‘discovery’ of America and want us to celebrate the day.”

That year, the Venezuelan leader revised the nation’s education curriculum to emphasize that the Spanish conquest of the country was destructive, rather than heroic.

Indigenous rights and the Constituent Assembly

The Bolivarian Constitution of 1999 recognized, for the first time ever in the country’s history, the Indigenous population’s right to exist, its languages, cultures, and territories.

With Venezuela’s current National Constituent Assembly, ANC, process underway — which Maduro called to bring the country towards dialogue, in the face of U.S.-backed violence and threats of foreign intervention — Indigenous people are again putting their demands forward.

RELATED:  Social Media Blasts Racist ‘Columbus Day’ in Favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

In July of this year, 1250 different community assemblies elected eight Indigenous representatives to the Assembly, who were tasked with gathering input from their communities in the redrafting of the Constitution.

The main objectives for the Indigenous candidates will be to create an Indigenous Electoral Registration Law and improve access to education. They will also be tasked with preserving and disseminating their respective languages, histories and cultural heritage.

“The spirit of what happened (to the Columbus statue) and the spirit of what is happening now with the Constituent Assembly is similar,” said Kozarek.

“Popular movements emphasize that the revolution cannot be just rhetoric,” she added. “People have placed faith in the Constituent Assembly process, (optimistic) that this will not happen.”