Venezuela Gives Land Titles to Indigenous Peoples


Richard Moore

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Venezuela Hosts Indigenous Congress, Gives Land Titles to Indigenous
Wednesday, Aug 08, 2007

By: Kiraz Janicke -

Caracas, August 8, 2007 (‹ Coinciding with the launch of 
the First International Congress of the Anti-imperialist Indigenous Peoples of 
Latin America (Abya Yala), yesterday, in San Tomé, Anzoátegui state, Venezuelan 
vice-president Jorge Rodriguez, together with Nicia Maldonado, the Minister of 
Popular Power for Indigenous Peoples, handed over eleven housing and land titles
recognizing indigenous ownership of various indigenous groups throughout the 

Minister Nicia Maldonado assured that along with the recognition of land titles,
the government will provide financial support for projects of integral 
development and housing for the indigenous communities of Pumé, Yaruro, Kariña 
and Warao, the first peoples of the states of Apure, Anzoátegui, and Bolívar.

She also said that during the past eight years the Venezuelan government has 
handed over nine-hundred thousand hectares of land titles to the indigenous 
peoples of various regions of Venezuela.

The minister said that 2,205 indigenous communities representing more than forty
different groups had been identified at a national level, including 26 
communities in urban zones and that the delivery of resources for the 
development of projects would come through financing plans presented by the 
Indigenous Communal Councils throughout the country.

The minister confirmed that the National Registrar of Indigenous Communal 
Councils had reached 800 and of these, 520 had so far received financing from 
the national government for various development projects. She added that 
financial resources would be made available for the other 280 Communal Councils.

She explained that the Chavez government has encouraged a process of 
³dignification of the original peoples of the country,² through incorporating 
them into the education missions, Robinson, Ribas and Sucre, as well as programs
of social production such as Mission Vuelvan Caras, now called Mission Ché 
Guevara, among others.

Maldonado also emphasized that the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of 
Venezuela ³rescued the dignity and rights of the original peoples,² through the 
Organic Law of the Indigenous Peoples.

Anti-Imperialist Indigenous Congress Opens

The First International Congress of the Anti-imperialist Indigenous Peoples of 
Latin America (Abya Yala), also opened yesterday in San Tomé. Minister Maldonado
said the conference, while promoting cultural diversity, had an ³integrationist 
and unifying character² with the aim of creating a front against the political 
hegemony of the US imperialism.

More than a thousand delegates of first peoples from 22 different countries 
participated, including Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, El Salvador, 
Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Guyana, Suriname, Paraguay, San Vicente
and the Grenadines, Brazil, Honduras, United States, Uruguay, Panama, and 

The Venezuelan delegation included representatives of forty different indigenous
groups, first peoples form the states of Anzoátegui, Amazonas, Apure, Bolívar, 
Delta Amacuro, Monagas, Sucre, and Zulia, as well as members of Indigenous 
Communal Councils from diverse regions throughout the country.

The first day of the congress covered issues of empowerment of indigenous 
people, through the articulation of their demands at a national level and 
expressions of communal power such as the Communal Councils in Venezuela, as 
well as the importance of promoting and strengthening cultural diversity and 
preserving indigenous languages, and the Bolivarian Alternative for the peoples 
of the Americas (ALBA).

The indigenous peoples of the Americas will also share their experiences of US 
imperialism, privatization of land and resources and struggles against 
privatization and for the recognition of land rights. Also to be discussed at 
the conference is the concept of 'Indo-American socialism', the discourse of 
Socialism of the 21st Century, and more specifically the Bolivarian Revolution 
in Venezuela, including the ³five constituent motors² for pushing the revolution
forward, and the role of indigenous peoples within the revolution.

The conference also provided space to discuss strategies and articulate 
anti-imperialist proposals to create a better world, including the proposal to 
form a Continental Anti-imperialist Indigenous Council and a proposal to create 
an Indo-American Indigenous Network of Alternative Communication.

³We are going to celebrate this congress with the aim of going towards the 
formation of a Continental Anti-imperialist Indigenous Council, constructing 
'Indo-American' socialism and the Bolivarian Alternative of the peoples of the 
Americas,² declared Maria Caicuto, the vice-minister for the communal indigenous
territory of the Deltas, Mountains, Coasts and Mangroves.

The closing of the conference coincides with the International Day of Indigenous
Peoples on Aug 9.

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