Each October 12 Venezuela commemorates the “Day of Indigenous Resistance” as a means to recognize the Americas’ fight for self-determination, unity and cultural and human diversity. The day also serves to vindicate the indigenous peoples of the American continent and as well as the contributions made by the African, Asian and European culture and peoples.
This commemoration celebrates the spirit of dialogue, peace and justice between civilizations, in accordance to articles 107, 119, 126, 226 and numeral 24 of article 236 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Furthermore, as established in Decree 2028, dated October 11, 2002, each October 12 will be used to commemorate and recognize the indigenous peoples of the Americas. With this referred legal disposition, the celebration of the Day of Indigenous Resistance was included in the official calendar as well as in school history books.
Today’s Indigenous Peoples and the Bolivarian Revolution
Today, those indigenous peoples, who have been dignified by the Bolivarian revolution, keep the struggles alive for the real conquest of more spaces and rights.
Indigenous people are a priority for the Venezuelan government, as evidenced by the creation of the Organic Law on Indigenous Peoples and Communities. This unprecedented law was created in Venezuela to regulate every aspect related to the rights of indigenous peoples.
The content of the law includes many issues, and is considered one of the more complex laws in Venezuela’s parliamentary history. It is also considered a Constitution for the Venezuelan indigenous tribes.
After the discussion and approval of Venezuela’s 1999 Constitution, one of the most important elements remarked was Chapter VIII of Title III, exclusively related to recognizing the rights of the indigenous peoples.
Enacted in 2005, the Organic Law on the Indigenous Peoples and Communities includes 16 articles organized in eight titles, in addition to the transitory dispositions.
Commemoration with the Congress of the Indigenous Peoples
As part of the activities to commemorate the Day of Indigenous Resistance, representatives of several Latin American indigenous communities are participating in the IV Congress of Anti-Imperialist Indigenous Peoples, which is being held in the Venezuelan village of Elorza, Apure state (southwestern plain), from October 11-12.
This integrationist event of the South American indigenous peoples, in which 14 countries and over 400 Venezuelan natives are participating, originated from the need to honor Abya-Ayala –which means Latin America- and gain more spaces for debate.
Argentina, Honduras Guatemala, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Paraguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia are some of the countries participating in the congress.
Regarding the Venezuelan delegation of different indigenous communities, the Vice-Minister of People’s Power for Indigenous Affairs Rosa Delgado said that there are 44 Venezuelan indigenous tribes participating in the congress.
“We are here participating with all Venezuela’s indigenous family (…) showing one more time to the world that the revolution goes forward giving opportunities to the indigenous communities, paying little by little the great historical debt with the native peoples,” remarked the vice-minister.
Additionally, an event at Venezuela’s National Pantheon is expected to be held in Caracas, where various Venezuelan authorities will be present.
AVN/RNV/Bolivarian University of Venezuela/Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S./ October 12, 2010