Venezuelan indigenous communities march to support gov't, revolution

President Nicolas Maduro welcomes representatives from Indigenous peoples at the Miraflores presidential palace, Caracas, June 2

Indigenous communities representing various nationalities marched through the streets of Caracas on June 2 to show their support for the government of Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution.

The groups taking part in the demonstration were responding to a call made by the government to develop grassroots solutions to the economic crisis the country is facing.

TeleSUR's Caracas correspondent, Iain Bruce, said the leaders he spoke to back the government due to the respect it has extended to indigenous peoples throughout the Bolivarian Revolution, the political project initiated by the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez when he was first elected in 1998.

“In the past we were always received at the back door, now we're welcomed through the front door,” Noeli Pocaterra, a leader from the Wayuu people, told TeleSUR.

Bruce reported that demonstrators felt that based on their traditions, they had unique contributions to make towards addressing the economic crisis.

Bruce said: “As they passed the opposition-controlled National Assembly, the indigenous groups stopped their march briefly. Among clouds of ritual smoke and chants, they carried out a ceremony of purification at one of the doors to the parliament.

“They said the building where the Bolivarian Revolution gave them representation had been profaned by the new right-wing majority.”

Once the march arrived at the presidential palace, leaders handed over a document directly to Maduro outlining their proposals. Minister for Indigenous Peoples Clara Vidal said the document was a synthesis of proposals made by indigenous peoples in their territories.

Maduro made a commitment before the crowd to speed-up efforts to hand over land titles to indigenous communities for their territories. The Venezuelan president also authorised funding for socio-productive projects in indigenous areas.

The rally condemned the recent efforts by the secretary-general of the Organisation of American States, Luis Almagro, to promote foreign intervention in Venezuela through the use of the Democratic Charter.

About 43 different nationalities, from the states of Amazonas, Zulia, Sucre, and Bolivar, took part in the demonstration.

[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]

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