English version: Daniel Cooper Bermúdez
Intercultural organization Wainjirawa – laguarura.info
Peoples of Venezuela, of Latin America, and the world. Peoples from below who until now have been militants in political parties regardless of your ideological bent. Peoples of God, whatever your ideas of God may be. Young students, defenders of freedom in the streets. Young people who did not feel called into the rebellion but are willing to fight for their communities and the country. Workers of the Strike Committee and other class-conscious unions. Campesinos without land and others abandoned by the assistance-based programs of the government. Indigenous peoples and nations. Humble and simple peoples with the inherent power of your humanity.
As our family.
One hundred days of protests in the streets have passed which can certainly be catalogued as a national rebellion of the people in Venezuela. Even in the furthest of towns, people created barricades and confronted police, military, paramilitary, and drug-trafficking forces associated to the State armed merely with their rage, misery, and hunger. Now over 120 people have been murdered, thousands have been jailed, and countless have been injured. At last, after over a hundred days of battle in which, not with votes but with direct action in the streets, an entire country was willing to show the government that it is not willing to accept being enslaved to it; also showing this determination to certain factions of the opposition from the traditional parties, which in a tacit agreement with the government, intend to maintain the tension of a polarization by utilizing the rebellion of the populace for their own narrow electoral interests.
At the same time, the economic crisis – evident with the unstoppable inflation rate and scarcity of goods – has driven the people to levels of poverty and hunger never before experienced in our history. All of this after the Venezuelan State squandered the largest amount of oil rent it had ever received in a process of generalized shameless corruption.
Cornered by the lack of liquid assets to sustain its continuation in power, Maduro’s government has sold away the country’s sovereignty through an extractivist project that will condemn at least eight indigenous peoples to their deaths. The Arco Minero del Orinoco is a massive open-pit mining project which has been entrusted to Russian and Chinese transnational mining companies in indigenous territories that were never demarcated, a flagrant breach of the constitutional mandate of the current Constitution of 1999. In fact, the recent killing of 37 prisoners in Amazonas state by military forces, bound up and forced to take a knee for their execution, forms part of a policy of State Terror applied by the government in order to make the rebellion of the multitude submit to them. That the poorest are now having to eat garbage, literally speaking, is the direct result of the situation poor people have been driven towards by those who boss us around.
Today, when the people in power in government and some within the parties of the Mesa de Unidad are celebrating the announcement of gubernatorial elections, we believe it is time of the real unity of those who are excluded, of those who truly aspire to rebuild another country. Despite the supposed victory that the mafia that governs us today believes it has imposed on us with the fraud of the National Constituent Assembly, we are convinced that we are in the best moment to launch the construction of the republic of Us, that is of those who were fooled, those who have been degraded by social programs and so-called planned public policy that were executed in order to always stop the insurgence of our peoples and communities against the same colonialists as always.
We are convinced that what has broken is the history of the republics which have been created by negating the multitude: the indigenous, black people, campesinos, the urban poor. The professional middle class belief that the story of having become a “developed country,” of transitioning from the “third to the first world” has also been broken. They also believed the discourses coming out of social research centers belonging to government institutions whether they be from the “left” or the “right.”
We are convinced that we live in the most stellar moment for our peoples and communities to make ourselves, to be autonomous, independent, free. We are extending our hand out to everyone, and not because we may share an ideology, a religion, or have a bag of food to offer. We are inviting everyone who has not decided to sell themselves for a bag of corn but instead are assuming themselves as free beings, people that will defend that freedom which you have proclaimed for yourself since there is no freedom in existence that can be handed to us by anyone, freedom is taken and exercised by those who are truly free.
We are doing this because we are convinced that another world is possible and such a possibility cannot be left in the hands of those who think from the conviction of their own eternity. These folks will always put their own political and social survival over communities’ aspiration for life. We do this because it is only possible to break with an illusion of polarization through the truth of what we are and are willing to create in words and actions that belong to Us.
We do it because we ran out of time. The geopolitical threats of the empires (North American, Russian, Chinese, and of the drug cartels), in alliance with the people who we know could be at our side in this battle against the empires but have chosen to pick sides between the empires of the “left” and “right”, denies and complicates the construction of a geopolitics from below within a wider context in which humanity is running out of time.
We grow the courage to give one another our hands so that we can build this other republic which responds to who we really are and not what other people (in the left and in the right) say we are. The last two decades, but especially the last one hundred days, must be enough to understand that the traditional sites of power and those who we have entrusted to represent our voice and course of action, do not believe in the necessity of our persistence as peoples but in their own persistence in power.
It is time to be us and for us. It is time to remain together in virtue of ethical and political principles that go beyond the liberty, equality, and fraternity espoused by the French Revolution, origin of all the revolutions of Europe and the Americas, including Bolívar’s. Our hands are now willing to build ourselves from ourselves and not from the inherited Social Contract Theory by Rousseau and much less from the imposed territorial redistribution by the Washington Consensus.
Our invitation is to, without any prejudice at all, from our indigeneity, despite being permanently considered a backwards people susceptible to being bought or sold, demonstrate that if for over five centuries we have been able to defend our territories and our sovereignty and our territoriality, there is much we can accomplish. We are making a call to contribute to this other Republic, the one that belongs to Us, and which is necessary to all those who are territorially in it.
Our hand is with anybody who wants to be at our side at this moment and in this task of building ourselves from the Us we truly are.