Confronted with food distribution shortages, urban and rural communities in Venezuela have opted to take action. A growing grassroots movement has emerged with the goal to achieve food sovereignty, and in that process, many farmer organizations and urban agricultural collectives are growing organic products using non GMO seeds. This effort has been supported by the enactment of public policies, such as the Seeds Law, a legal framework -drafted with the participation of farmer organizations- that promotes the use of traditional non GMO seeds, and the creation of the Ministry of Urban griculture.
(picture) Urban garden in Caracas
Dear compañeras and compañeros, from the belly of the beast, the United States, we salute and congratulate you for carrying out this 11th National Encounter of Peasant Seeds in Monte Carmelo. Here, in the U.S., those among us who are older remember or directly participated in solidarity campaigns in the past in the world, where our government took the side of capitalist oppressor. We sided with the poor, peasants, workers, who struggle to build a better world for all instead of profits for a few. We do the same right here in our country too, we also envision changing this imperialistic country into a better place. Therefore, it is only natural that we exercise solidarity with revolutionaries in Venezuela.
Boston, MA – Confronted with a food distribution emergency, working people of Venezuela have opted to confront the emergency with action. A growing community-based movement has emerged with the goal to achieve food sovereignty. In that process many farmer organizations and urban agricultural collectives are growing organic products, using non GMO seeds. This effort has been supported by the enactment of public policies, such as the Seeds Law, a legal framework that promotes the use of traditional non GMO seeds, and the creation of the Department of Urban Agriculture.
At the initiative of former President Chavez, Venezuela has provided support to economically disadvantaged communities in the US through the years. Since 2005, Venezuelan-owned CITGO Petroleum Corporation has provided millions of gallons of heating oil to the homes of thousands of families (1.8 million people) to keep warm during the cold winter months, in 25 states, the District of Columbia and many Indigenous reservations and homeless shelters. CITGO has also supported environmental initiatives and coastal restoration efforts in the communities affected by hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, leading volunteers in restoring 81 acres of coastline and wetlands; planting more than 70,000 trees. CITGO has funded numerous social projects in the Bronx, New York, from worker-run and food cooperatives to environmental justice, youth cultural programs, ESL classes and women of color collectives. Continue reading