Venezuela: Thousands march on Day of Indigenous Resistance

October 15, 2016
Thousands march to commemorate the Day of Indigenous Resistance. Caracas, October 12.

Thousands marched in Venezuela’s capital of Caracas on October 12 to commemorate the Day of Indigenous Resistance — previously known as “Colombus Day”. The march also sought to counter opposition mobilisations in favour of the recall referendum against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Supporters of Venezuela’s pro-poor Bolivarian revolution emphasised the anti-imperialist character of their march and denounced ongoing destabilisation against Venezuela. Marchers gathered in Plaza Venezuela, where President Maduro revealed a monument in honour of indigenous resistance leader Tiuna.

Tiuna, a leader of the Caracas people of the Caribe nation, fought Spanish colonialism in what is today known as Catia La Mar, on the outskirts of the nation’s capital. He was part of Guiacaipuro’s indigenous coalition of Caribe tribes and was killed in battle.

VTV said 44 indigenous nations took part in the march, along other social movements, Maduro and members of his cabinet. Minister of Indigenous Peoples Aloha Nunez spoke at the monument’s inauguration.

Indigenous peoples are organising a series of ongoing mobilisations to highlight the rights won in the past 17 years of the Bolivarian revolution, as well as the continuing struggles to extend those rights.

In Venezuela, Colombus Day was officially renamed the Day of Indigenous Resistance in 2002 by a decree of former president Hugo Chavez. The national Assembly has since approved the day as a national holiday.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s right-wing opposition also mobilised on the day in support of the recall referendum it is organising against Maduro. The National Electoral Council has set October 26, 27, and 28 as the days the opposition will need to secure 20% of the voting electorate in order to move forward with the referendum.

The Venezuelan opposition also denounced the Supreme Court’s recent ruling granting Maduro the ability to bypass the opposition-controlled National Assembly and directly submit the 2017 budget to the court.

[Abridged from Venezuela Analysis.]

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