Venezuela, Zim: Revolution, Patriotism and Resolve.

AuthorSimunye, Obi Egbuna Jnr

OE (Obi Egbuna Jnr Simunye): How does the political divide between the government of Venezuela and the pro-regime change opposition impact on the people of African ancestry and descent? In these 19 years of the Bolivarian process, Afro-descendant Venezuelans have been dignified in an unprecedented way in Venezuelan history.

AJCG (Jesus Chucho Garcia): The process of social transformation with which Venezuela has experimented with over the past 18 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 participation. When Chavez arrived, on an episode of "Alo, President" filmed in Palmarejo (January 2004), he declared himself Afro-descendant, and handed over 11 000 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 sub-region 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 Brillemburg.

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.

OE: Please highlight how the people of African descent and ancestry have benefited from the policies implemented by the late Commandante Hugo Chavez and now President Maduro.

AJCG: The Afro-descendant communities of Venezuela have benefited 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 of the...

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