[News] Venezuela - Why Are There No Barricades in Afro-Descendant Communities?
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Apr 24 13:27:46 EDT 2014
Why Are There No Barricades in Afro-Descendant Communities?
By Jesús Chucho García- La Voz, April 23rd 2014
In these 15 years of the Bolivarian process, afro-descendant Venezuelans
have been dignified in an unprecedented way in Venezuelan history.
The process of social transformation with which Venezuela has
experimented the past 15 years has not only been economical, but also a
political process, where president Chavez played an essential
ideological role as the leader of this humane option, of solidarity and
*Barlovento is not Altamira*
The afro-descendant communities of Venezuela have benefitted in ways
never before seen under previous socio-political processes. Before, the
land of afro communities was in the hands of latifundistas and agrarian
bourgeoisie. One the worst cases of discrimination was reflected in the
Farriar municipality, where Cuban supporters of Batista, with the help
of the [pre-Chavez] government, dispossessed thousands of hectares of
ancestral land, including Cañizos, Palo Quemao, Farriar, Palmarejo, and
El Chino. Numerous witnesses tell of how the Batista supporters hired
armed bands to assault community inhabitants at night, threatening them
and burning their cane crops. This lead to persecutions, and a youth was
murdered when people protested these events.
When Chavez arrived, on an episode of "Alo, President" filmed in
Palmarejo, he declared himself afro-descendant, and handed over 11
thousand hectares along with agriculture credits, and decreed the land
communal property of the afro-descendants of Yaracuy. In other words,
the /sacrocracia/ (owners of the cane growers) were expropriated in
defense of the defenseless.
Additionally, in the subregion of Barlovento, thousands of hectares in
the hands of the cacaocracia (cacao plantation owners) who had turned
our grandfathers and grandmothers' into hunchbacks from bending over to
sow the riches of the hacienda owners, who would pay them a hundred
times less what each basket of cacao was worth. Today in Barlovento we
are experimenting with the socialist cacao companies and the chocolate
manufacturers to work with cacao derivatives. And the six autonomous
municipalities of Barlovento have voted in favor of the Bolivarian hope.
In the Southern area of Maracaibo Lake (Bobures, Gibaltar, El Batey, and
San Jose de Hera) people placed their faith in substantial change, in
the hopes of eradicating the latifundio of the cane fields owned by the
This is why it doesn't occur to us to join the /guarimbas/ like they are
doing in Altamira or in upper-class areas of Caracas and some inland
cities. The afro-descendants of this country have achieved a dignity
without precedent in Venezuelan history.
*The Gods Are with Peace and Dignity*
We used the internet to make some inquiries about the climate of
destabilization in our country; The Revolutionary Afro-Descendant Youth
(JARAV) directed by Freddy "Pollito" Blanco, has been strongly against
the "commotion" fomented by the bourgeoisie to return to power.
"We have already publicly shared our position about the racist and
fascist uprising. We have participated actively in the manifestations in
Barlovento and those convoked on a national level, especially by the
The pastor of the evangelist church La Voz de Dios, of San Jose de
Barlovento expressed to us via internet, "God wants peace, he does not
want more violence generated by an anarchic sector of our society. It is
necessary to consolidate the advances in our Barlovento that Chavez left
us with. The evangelists are people of peace... we ask that violent
people control themselves, as they will find it difficult to find peace
in their souls in the face of the damage they are inflicting upon the
From Yaracuy, Williams Sequera and Gustavo Suarez said that the "havoc
caused by a sector of the opposition is causing them to close themselves
in...We ask them to come to consult with us on the mountain of María
Lionza to withdraw the racist, terrifying, imperialist spirits from them."
José Chucho Garcia is an educator and founder of the "Miguel Acosta
Saigne" Center for Afroamerican Studies at the Universidad Cental de
Venezuela (UCV). He is also the editor of the magazine AFROAMERICA and
the author of several books.
/Translation by Zoe Clara Zutka for Venezuelanalysis.com/
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