THE INTERNATIONAL (VIRTUAL) FORUM DECOLONIAL VOICES AND PEOPLES IN RESISTANCE ARE DEVELOPING SUCCESSFULLY
In response to the call made by President Nicolás Maduro Moros, to hold debates on the pandemic and politics in times of crisis and neo-fascist discussions in its new neoliberal-colonial stage, the International Forum was successfully and virtually held under the theme: Decolonial Voices and Peoples in Resistance. Latin America and the Caribbean thinking in the contexts of a Pandemic, Emancipatory Discussion and Good Living in the No Return to the “Normality” of the World System, on May 21st and 22nd, 2020; organized by the Center for Social and Cultural Studies of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela and the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, through the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation Hugo Chávez Frías.
National and international intellectuals and members of social movements from Angola, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominica, Spain, USA, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama ,the Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela, among others, spoke on Latin America and the Caribbean in scenarios of economic war, continental integration and a global pandemic.
Among the Guests who participated were: David Comissiong – Ambassador of Barbados to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with the Anglophone Caribbean theme, struggles, resistance and restorative justice for people of African descent. Resistance actions against genocide and colonial exploitation; José Leyva Ventura- Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who spoke on the theme- the Cuba of Martí and Fidel: Solidarity in times of pandemic; Researcher Eduardo Beltrán – Metropolitan University of México- with the topic Psychosocial Neofascism, dystopias and common sense in times of a pandemic; Zoila Browne, Honorary Consul of Belize in SVG and member of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation, whose theme was on the indigenous Caribbean, peoples in resistance in defense of the Garifuna and Kalinago cultures. Ancestral conceptions for living in a world without a pandemic and Mike Browne. President of the Venezuelan Vincentian Friendship Association (VENVIFA) and the Solidarity Group,with the theme: Integrationist thinking of Simón Bolívar and Hugo Chávez in the Anglophone Caribbean. Keys to consolidate our American unity in times of pandemic.
Several Venezuelan guests also participated, such as: William Castillo -Vice Minister of International Communication, Ministry of the people´s Power for Foreign Affairs-, with the theme: Building a new world in the midst of the Pandemic; Zaida Castro – Director of Our house of José Martí on the theme Decolonial and anti-imperialist features in the piece Nuestra América by José Martí.
As part of the opening and welcoming remarks to the Forum, Francisco Pérez Santana, Head of the Venezuelan mission at SVG explained the continuous attacks and the siege directed by the United States Government against the Venezuelan people with the aim of “bringing down a people who have decided to be free, in order to appropriate their resources and dominate it “, while noting that diplomatic missions have not ceased to carry out academic, political and cultural activities” we have been more creative, as a result of the criminal economic blockade against our people and government, we are firmer in our decisions and more resistant in our actions.
Likewise, Pérez denounced that among the multiple consequences of the economic blockade imposed by the United States, the Venezuelan foreign service cannot receive the necessary financial resources to maintain its operation, but despite this, the Government of President Nicolás Maduro has not closed any Embassy or Consulate “Our essential principle is to make the diplomacy of peace visible , which implies being more committed to our peoples of Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe, while carrying the truth of the Bolivarian Revolution Chávez to every corner of the planet, “he emphasized.
For his part, the Vice Minister of International Communication, William Castillo said: «It is necessary to reposition the need to reject the rival model of life and return the peoples and nations public health systems on the agenda of public debate as the only alternative to a threat to world health … Times of greater struggles and challenges are coming, and in our Latin American and Caribbean lands it is essential to stop the recolonizing Project of the USA. on the continent and resume the paths outlined in the beautiful Founding Declaration of theCELAC: Integration, Peace and Sovereignty … it is about how our Venezuelan singer-songwriter Alí Primer expresses it, making humanity more human ».
David Comissiong highlighted the decision of the Heads of Government of CARICOM to launch a Claim for Reparations against the Governments of the European States for: «The genocide perpetrated against the 15 million indigenous people of the Caribbean; and the multiplicity of Crimes against Humanity that were committed against African black slaves in the Caribbean ».
José Leyva Ventura, Ambassador of Cuba in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, highlighted how the thinking of Marti and Fidel is in force in the Cuban Revolution by training thousands of Cuban doctors who are now fighting the pandemic generated by Covid-19 and who the US tries to discredit: He denounced that: «The North American government has increased its aggressiveness, its hostile rhetoric and the threats against my country, which encourage terrorist actions such as the attack that our Embassy in Washington suffered on April 30th or the most recent inclusion of Cuba and Venezuela in the list of countries that do not collaborate in the fight against terrorism ».
Zoila Browne, Belize Honorary Consul and member of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation, delved into historical aspects of the Garifuna and Kalinago indigenous peoples and reflected on how the Caribbean can instill the rich legacy of the indigenous Caribbean experience in modern crisis history of the Garifuna and Kalinago and their fight against imperialist domination.
President of the Venezuelan Vincentian Friendship Association (VENVIFA), Mike Browne elaborated on the validity of Bolivarian and Chavista thiking as the ethical and philosophical basis of the Bolivarian Revolution. He stressed that “Integration is synonymous with unity, a understanding demonstrated by both Bolívar and Chávez, who, in their praxis, gave meaning to the concepts of unity and unity in diversity. Therefore, integration need not be monolithic, rigid, mechanistic, but dialectical ».
Mexican researcher, Eduardo Beltrán presented a very important topic deconstructing psychosocial neofascism, as “a phenomenon that belongs to the biopsychosocial sphere, not only to the ideological or political sphere, but also to the emotional and cognitive structures that allow reproduction expanded social attitudes, as well as emotions, criteria and the reproduction of popular knowledge, that is, common sense.
Professor Andreina Bermúdez, Academic coordinator of the IVCC at SVG, in her role as moderator during the Forum, presented the final conclusions of the event based on the presentations and proposals of the participants and said : In this Forum, as Jose Marti put it, the speakers delved into the trenches of ideas, shown in denouncements, critical thinking, struggles and theoretical reflections….
The culture of the Caribbean peoples adorned the virtual International Forum with presentations by t Cuban pianist-concert player, Zahily Laidlow, Vincentian violinist Darron Andrews; the Reading of the poems Love for life, humanity by the Venezuelan professor Cunshi Hernández of the Cátedra Libre Bolívar-Martí and Vincentian poet, Nerissa King. As well as Poetry in Quarantine by Venezuelan Professor Maribel Prieto Hernández, Coordinator of the Cátedra Libre Bolívar-Martí and the Vincentian poet Laura Stephens-Dublin.
This experience of international and national debate through virtual platforms is a reference for the collective creation of knowledge in a world that has the task of reevaluating itself against the Return to “normality” of the post-pandemic World system and thinking about making humanity human.