Harlem’s National Black Theater Hosts President Nicolás Maduro PDF Print E-mail
Written by Prensa Embajada de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela en Washington DC   
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 14:13
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On Monday, September 28, New York State Senator Bill Perkins, Black Lives Matter cofounder Opal Tometi, 1199 SEIU Vice President Estela Vásquez, renowned actor and President of the Board of Directors of TransAfrica Forum Danny Glover, as well as hundreds of activists, intellectuals and social movement leaders were part of a full house at the National Black Theater in Harlem for an event featuring Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

At the event, titled “People of African Descent Leadership Summit”, Senator Perkins recognized President Maduro’s achievements in politics.  The Senator also emphasized the work Maduro has done in continuing President Chavez’s legacy by stressing social policies and helping the most vulnerable populations in the country, including Afro-descendant communities.

During her speech, the cofounder of Black Lives Matter, denounced racism as a new form of slavery that prevents communities of color from being equal and is “a product of Western policies.” 

“I am conscious of the fact that justice has a racial aspect.  What we are living through is a manifestation of anti-black racism and it is state violence—we have to call it what it is,” Tometi said.

Another speaker, Yvette Modestin, Executive Vice President of Encuentro Diaspora Afro, noted that the struggle against racism is everyone’s responsibility, and that unity must prevail.  Modestin also presented a set of demands under the framework of the United Nation’s International Decade for People of African Descent. 

“People of African descent should be able to enjoy equal civil rights, the right to education, the right to quality health care, gender equality, equal access to justice and greater protection for children and adolescents,” Modestin said.

Estela Vásquez, Vice President of 1199 SEIU, reiterated the support of Afro-descendent communities for the Bolivarian Revolution, which she said “defends equality and civil rights.”

“Solidarity is not just an act of solidarity, but of mutual interest.  Our solidarity is with the Bolivarian process. We defend the common interest we have with Venezuelans, because we are fighting the same enemy, the enemy that murders black people in America.  It is time to say that a united people will never be defeated,” Vásquez declared.


President Maduro on Venezuela’s Struggles

Prior to the event, President Maduro held a meeting with New York City union leaders, which he characterized as “an excellent moment, since we came here to listen and learn from them.  We cannot just wait in presidential hallways; we have to listen in person to the truth about workers and those who fight for them.”

The summit was a stage for Maduro to transmit a message of unity between the Venezuelan and U.S. peoples on the night before his speech at the 70th United Nations General Assembly.  In that regard, the President emphasized the Venezuelan state’s commitment to the fight against racism, sexism and every form of discrimination.  “We have to fight for new power, one which represents human conscience.  We lack economic models that places humans at the center of the equations, humans and not capital are the center of this new power,” he explained.

President Maduro also noted that with the start of the Bolivarian Revolution, Venezuela has had “19 elections, thereby demonstrating its democratic nature.” 

Recounting   a meeting he held with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Maduro noted that Carter affirmed that Venezuela’s electoral system is the most complete and transparent he has seen.  “And President Carter has participated as an observer in over 100 elections worldwide!” President Maduro told the audience.

He also mentioned that during his UN speech he will propose a new alliance for the reconstruction of countries destroyed by foreign interventions that have led to the migration of thousands to Europe.  “We should demand a plan for the reconstruction of Africa, Syria, Iraq.  We should ensure that peoples have the power to develop in peace,” he indicated, while noting that said alliance should be the body in charge of bringing peace to the world.

Maduro also proposed holding a Summit of Peoples in Caracas, featuring leaders of social movements and groups, in order to debate the 17 objectives agreed to in the UN 2015-2030 Agenda.

“Convening a great Summit of Peoples, of social movements and of leaders who love their people and who try to bring justice, so we can define shared plans and find opportunities within the perspective of building a new power that will replace the powers that exploit us, that loot us,” he explained.

The President further noted that the objectives agreed to b the UN connect with the aspiration of peoples and social struggles.  He committed to fulfilling, along with the Bolivarian Revolution, the 17 points and to including them in the Plan for the Nation, a set of government policies created by the leader of the Revolution, Hugo Chávez.

Finally, he said it was important that the peoples of the world be aware of the decisions made within the UN relating to the development of humanity, particularly so that social movements don’t stop their struggles against racism, discrimination and human exploitation.  “We are fully aware of this historic decision by the United Nations and we will try to engage our local, regional, and national struggles with a greater global struggle to meet these noble objectives that can lead humanity to greater social, spiritual, ethical, physical and material development,” President Maduro express.

 Watch the photos of the event here

Press – Venezuelan Embassy in the US / September 28, 2015 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 October 2015 19:27

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