To: The friends who contributed seeds from the Seeds of Solidarity for Venezuela project.
From: Gaudy María García, Person Responsible for the Family Seed Reservoir La Paspasa
Women and men, peasants of Monte Carmelo, Sanare, Municipality Andrés Eloy Blanco, Lara State, Venezuela, send you conservation and agro-ecological greetings. Here we will provide a brief account of what we have been developing in recent months in terms of rescue and reproduction of seeds in our project “Seeds for Life”.
By Alison Bodine
2017 is the 19th year of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. For nearly two decades this revolution, which began with the election of Comandante Hugo Chávez in 1998, has been making tremendous gains for poor, working and oppressed people in Venezuela. Including massive improvements in education, healthcare and housing. The fact is, in Venezuela today more people are living just and dignified lives.
The Seeds of Solidarity for Venezuela project was officially launched last Saturday 12/3/2016, with a great panel of presenters, which included Lisa Sullivan, international coordinator, liaison and inspiration to get this program going. We also had a report back from Ausra Kubilius, Seymour Kellerman, Emily Sedgwick, and Robert Schwartz, who travelled to Venezuela recently to witness the effort for food sovereignty and eco-socialism being developed in the Lara state. Likewise, we had a presentation by NY resident Quincy Saul, from the organization Ecosocialist Horizons, who is working to organize the first ecosocialist international in Venezuela next year October-November 2017. The event was well attended. Now forward with the collection of heirloom, non-GMO seeds! If you would like to donate please contact us at email@example.com.From l-r, Sergio Reyes, co-coordinator of US-Venezuela Solidarity Committee, Emily Sedgwick, Robert Schwartz, Quincy Saul, Seymour Kellerman, and Ausra Kubilius.
11/28/2016 — The VSC co-signed the following letter of solidarity with Colombian people. This was an initiative of Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ).
Dear Sisters, Brothers, Friends and Comrades,
It is with deep sorrow that we write to express our condolences for the recent assaults against your organizations and against the entire process for peace. We have learned that 72 human and labor rights defenders, peace activists, indigenous leaders and environmentalists were assassinated in 2016 alone. In the four years of its existence, 125 members of the Marcha Patriótica (Patriotic March) popular movement for peace have lost their lives. We are dismayed by the campaign of paramilitary violence that has occurred leading up to and following the October 2nd Peace Referendum. We are especially shocked by Operation Extermination, carried out by death squads between November 17 and 20. Five persons were murdered and attempts were made against three others. All of those targeted were members of the Marcha Patriótica, and all but one were affiliated with the National Unitary Federation of Agricultural Workers Unions (Fensuagro), the largest labor organization within the Marcha Patriótica. We are also deeply concerned to learn that two insurgents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples Army (FARC-EP) were killed November 13 in a non-combat situation by Colombian Armed Forces snipers. This is a violation of the ceasefire and a provocation against the peace process. Meanwhile, we have received new notices of a series of new paramilitary threats directed against leaders and members of the Marcha Patriótica, Fensuagro and various similar popular organizations.
Sat. December 3, 2016 – 3PM
At encuentro5, 9A Hamilton Pl., Boston, MA (near the Park Street T station).
Lisa Sullivan, International Coordinator Seeds of Solidarity Project (Skype participation).
Ausra Kubilius, Seymour Kellerman, Emily Sedgwick, and Robert Schwartz, Boston area observers recently returned from Venezuela.
Nataka Creyton, Boston Urban Farming Institute.
Quincy Saul, Ecosocialist Horizons, also recently visited Venezuela.
Seeds of Solidarity for Venezuela, a project of the Venezuela Solidarity Committee of Boston, is committed to supporting a growing grassroots movement in Venezuela that has emerged with the goal to achieve food sovereignty. We provide organic heirloom seeds to farmer organizations and urban agricultural collectives that are involved in self-reliance and food security initiatives in low income rural and peri-urban areas of Venezuela’s Lara State.
This is a people-to-people campaign.
Co-Sponsored by Mass. Global Action
Download the flier here.
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.
A well crafted plan to “take over Venezuela” will take place today, starting at 9AM in Caracas and larger cities throughout the country. People are asked to meet at pre-determined points in Caracas to finally converge at the Fajardo Highway for a demonstration with speakers from the right-wing opposition. These speakers will give directives for actions they are asking their supporters to take the day after. The public leader for these actions is the Governor of Miranda State, Henrique Capriles, who is also the head of MUD, Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (Table for Democratic Unity).
The collection of signatures for the recall referendum has been postponed by the National Electoral Council in response to injunctions from several State-level courts. Also, the opposition-held National Assembly, in an extraordinary session on Sunday October 23rd, declared themselves in open rebellion against the government, the Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council.
by Duncan McFarland, US-Venezuela Solidarity Committee
These are difficult times for Venezuela economically and politically. The socialist government of Maduro is in a crisis situation; the US government is trying to take advantage by applying pressure to support the right wing opposition. The goal is regime change to a neoliberal government or other US friendly regime. Transnational capitalist corporations are also involved in this effort. This is the reason that Obama ordered emergency sanctions against Venezuelan officials in 2015, which were subsequently supported by Congress on the basis of a national security threat. Travel and financial restrictions are in place against a number of leaders; but the actual impact involving a few people is not very significant. However, by labelling Venezuela a danger to national security, the US hegemonists create a cover in public opinion for US intervention, which is possible in different ways — covertly as well as militarily. The sanctions are also a way of legitimizing the right wing in Venezuela as global neoliberalism signals approval of their political program which includes violent confrontations. By having Congress sign on to the sanctions with a large majority, Obama has got commitments and support from both the Republican and Democratic parties. The US attempt to isolate Venezuela in the Organization of American States is another example of attacking and pressuring the Maduro government.