I apologize for any errors in translating a portion of the text below from Spanish to English and I welcome and corrections that might be suggested.
The words below were taken from the web site of "Red Afro-Venezuela" and state the nature of the organization and its objectives. The link for Red Afro-Venezuela is posted at the end of this article.
The Bolivarian constitution of Venezuela has sought to introduce a process of restructuring the Republic through deep social transformations that will establish a democratic, sovereign, responsible, multi-ethnic and pluricultural society, comprised of men and women who have a strong interest of their national community while maintaining humanistic values as well as national identity ".
It is indeed in this framework of institutional transformation that the Afro organizations began several years ago to look for recognition in cultural, social, legal, educational and agricultural spheres to stimulate the social inclusion of the Afro-Venezuelan populations and to eradicate their systemic exclusion that was the norm in years past.
For this it was necessary, as one of the essential elements, to organize a network of organizations of the different Afro-Venezuelans communities being considered the following ones:
- To be included in the processes of participation in the different local, regional and national plans as it establishes the national constitution.
- To promote through activism the allocation of investment resources in the respective communities.
- To contribute to the protection of the Cultural and Natural Patrimony of the Afro-Venezuelan communities in the form of sustainable development.
- To foment the local, regional and national organization of the Afro-Venezuelan communities for their inclusion in national programs and projects in accordance with Articles 185 and 182 of the Bolivarian Constitution and referred as the Councils of Public Planning.
- To fight openly against any form of racial discrimination and to put in practice the plan of action of the World-wide Conference Against the Racism (Surafrica 2001) signed by our country
Below is a letter to African American Organizations from the Afro Venezuelan Network that is a shining example of how members of the African Diaspora should call upon one another to solve our common problems. The letter was delivered to TransAfrica Forum and is posted at their web site.
Communications such as this should be circulated throughout the African communities so that they can strengthen our solidarity.
Afro Venezuelan Network Letter to African American Organizations
In the name of the Afro Venezuelan Network, a group of thirty community-based organizations from eight Venezuelan states, we call on you, our sister organizations of African Americans, to ask that you stand in solidarity with us so that we can end the climate of violence perpetuated against the Venezuelan democratic process. This violence is being provoked by anti-democratic sectors in our country that actively participated in the coup d'etat of April 11, 2002. A number of these coup leaders, supporters and endorsers have been financed through the National Endowment for Democracy, which receives your tax dollars from the United States Congress. Even today, the NED is being used as a channel to fund those who participated in, or endorsed the coup, as well as the oil manager's strike that paralyzed our national economy shortly thereafter.
As citizens of the United States you are in a position to demand that your country not intervene in Venezuela's political process. This is why we ask that you do all you can to ensure that Members of Congress (including our Afro-American brothers and sisters in that body) maintain a heightened scrutiny of how the NED uses its money.
Since 1999, the most socially and ethnically marginalized sectors of Venezuela-- the poor, the indigenous and peoples of African descent have been able to actively participate in the country's social transformation, working together to create public policies that are eradicating the fatal cycle of poverty, and leading to redistribution of land, the elimination of illiteracy and increased access to healthcare. As well, there has been a solidifying of the struggle against racism and racial discrimination.
This has been possible through the process of participatory democracy that began in 1999, and which has suffered an ongoing threat from anti-constitutional sectors that do not respect the rules of democratic participation. Instead they promote ongoing violence using the national and international mass media.
African American brothers and sisters, Afro Latinos and Afro Latinas, Venezuela is at a crucial moment in our democratic history. Venezuela (and its process of participatory democracy) represents--even with its faults--a model of progress for thousands of those living without hope. Though it is up to those of us in Venezuela to decide our future and our fate, you can enter into this struggle with us, by doing what you can do in your country, to ensure that Venezuela's right to determine its political direction is respected without any U.S. interference, or intervention directly or indirectly. This is a right that is due to any and all sovereign peoples.
With the pride of our Afro Venezuelan heritage, and the guidance of our ancestors,
Coordinator of Institutional Relations
Jesus Chucho Garcia
Coordinator of International Relations
This letter may be seen at its original TransAfrica Forum site .
The RED AFRO-VENEZUELA web site is in Spanish, but it can be translated using " Bable Fish" or some other Translation program.