Bolivarian revolution and Black liberation

Portland’s Hands Off Venezuela PDX sponsored a Skype teach-in on Aug. 17 with Dr. Layla Brown-Vincent, an assistant professor of Africana Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, who spoke about the role of racism in Bolivarian Venezuela to a room of 25 Oregonians. She said, “Just as Haiti was a stronghold of Black liberation in the late 18th and 19th centuries, and Cuba became a beacon of global struggle for Black/African liberation in the 20th century, Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution … is the most earnest attempt to facilitate Black liberation of our time.”

Dr. Layla Brown-Vincent is an assistant professor of Africana Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

Brown-Vincent recalled the 2017 murder of Orlando Figuera, a 21-year-old grocery worker, caught in the middle of opposition protesters in Venezuela. Figuera was doused with gasoline and burned to death while right-wing white supremacists yelled: “Hey Black guy, are you a Chavista? You see what happens to Chavistas?”

She noted that nearly 54 percent of Venezuela’s citizens are of discernible African ancestry. “Afro-descended people’s realities have become more visible since 2002, and their realities increasingly inform the political rhetoric/agenda of the Bolivarian Revolution, making Blackness synonymous with the people, socialism and Chavismo—​while whiteness is synonymous with capitalist exploitation, anti-Blackness and the anti-people counterrevolution led by the opposition.”

Brown-Vincent called opposition leader Juan Guaidó a white supremist who is part of the U.S.-led drive to maintain racial capitalism across the globe. Backed by the U.S., Guaidó attempted to declare himself president of Venezuela in January.

(WW Photo: Lyn Neeley)

(WW Photo: Lyn Neeley)

Lyn Neeley

Published by
Lyn Neeley

Recent Posts

El Paso, firme!

The chants rang out loud and clear all weekend: “El Paso!” Then: “Firme!”  After the racist mass murders on Aug.…

September 14, 2019 8:55 am

BlackRock billionaire hit for rainforest destruction

Demonstrators gathered outside the Circa Center in Philadelphia on Sept. 5 where BlackRock, the world's largest investment firm, has a…

September 14, 2019 8:53 am

G7 hypocrites protest but exploit the Amazon anyway

Published in the Italian journal Il Manifesto on Sept. 3. Translation by John Catalinotto. Faced with the spread of fires…

September 14, 2019 8:51 am

Protest of India’s rule over Kashmir

Chanting “From Kashmir to Palestine, occupation is a crime,” over 100 people, mostly immigrants from Kashmir, rallied on Sept. 6…

September 14, 2019 8:47 am

Bears Ears fight exposes energy companies, U.S. genocide

Trump’s plan to steal 1 million acres from Bears Ears National Monument laid bare the entire history of U.S. genocide…

September 12, 2019 10:27 pm

Democrats: No debate on climate crisis

In a small room at Hudson Yards, a ritzy, new Manhattan retail and housing complex, 10 Democratic candidates for president…

September 12, 2019 10:25 pm