Community Forum at Georgia State University on: THE CRISIS IN VENEZUELA AND THE AFRODESCENDANTS
Photo of Black Venezualian set on fire by the political opposition.
The African American Studies Department of GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, under the leadership of Professor Akinyele Umoja and with the support of ARAAC EEUU Regional Council of African Descendants from Latin America and the Caribbean, held a forum on the Venezuelan Crisis and how it affects the global African community. Jesus Garcia, Venezuela's General Consul in New Orleans, was the guest speaker with Yvette Modestin, leader and co-founder of ARAAC EEUU providing language interpretation support. García, exposed the threats to the Bolivarian process today, after almost two decades of a democratic process and inclusion and relations with all African countries, as never before seen in the history of Venezuela.
Garcia expressed the threat that exist in the ongoing attempt to undermine the new regional and political alliances that were created with the arrival of Chávez to power. The economic blockade and a future military invasion of Venezuela by the US Southern Command and NATO allies is a major threat to the Bolivarian state. The blockade includes, banning oil business from the CITGO Company and importing food to Venezuela. The sale of Petroleum is the main source of foreign exchange of Venezuela.
In his presentation, Consul Garcia demonstrated via footage captured by grassroot organizations on the ground, how the Venezuelan white and racist opposition set an Afro Venezuelan/ Chavista man on fire in the streets.. The exhibitor also showed how the Afro-descendants have benefited from the Bolivarian process through inclusion in public policies, land distribution, health, and education as never before seen in the history of that country.
In his closing remarks, Garcia implored students, activists and local leaders that losing the Bolivarian process, even with all the criticisms that can be made of them, is to return to the exclusion of millions of Afro-descendants from the benefits of oil revenue. To return to that level of exclusion would mirror what is happening in Brazil and Argentina, where neoliberalism power and racism are very present.
In the framework of the conference the book AFRODESCENDIENTES IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN by Jesús Chucho García was presented. ARAAC EEUU, through its co-founder and coordinator in Atlanta, Damani Aaquil, explained the objectives of the organization, calling on attendees to join an agenda in solidarity with Africans in the Americas.
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