Vincentians attend international afro-descendant conference in Venezuela
by Ideisha Jackson
The first International Conference of Afro-descendants was held in Caracas, Venezuela from November 10 to 12, 2019.
Over 100 delegates from 49 countries converged in Caracas for this historic occasion. St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) was represented by four delegates — James Gibson, Sia Creese, Victor “Mwata” Byron and Angella “Ideisha” Jackson.
The African descendant population in Our America constitutes a segment of more than 150 million inhabitants, with Brazil being the country with the largest African Descendant population, followed by Colombia, then the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The Theme of the conference was: “Maroons Against imperialism”.
The Main Objective was to define the insertion of Afro-descendance in the programmatic agendas of social movements and left-wing political parties, within the framework of the International Decade for People of African Descent and Reparations, as a fundamental basis for the eradication of structural racism, sine quanon condition for construction of Socialism
The specific objectives were:
1. Develop a strategic plan that allows the evaluation of progress and setbacks in relation to the objectives set in the international decade for people of African descent and reparations.
2. Generate mechanisms of action for the re-articulation of Afro-descendant movements of the left in the continent, along with establishing strategic alliances with movements and left-wing parties of the world from a Pan-Africanist perspective to curb the advance of imperialism and neoliberalism.
3. Promote the integral participation of women of African descent in the spaces of political decision-making in favor of justice and equity.
4. Define socio-cultural, educational, economic and communicational actions that contribute to the dismantling and eradication of ethnic and class prejudices that support the criminalization of Afro-descendant youth.
5. Define strategies to raise awareness of the militancy of leftist parties for the political, ideological, historical and cultural understanding of Afro issues based on the exercise of the rights of Afro-descendants to positions of popular election.
The conference was held at Hotel Alba, with a vibrant opening ceremony held on Sunday 10th of November. The second day of the conference was for the group sessions, where participants were given the opportunity to choose a group and had the opportunity to discuss, debate and put forward proposals under 5 thematic areas, which were:
1. Group 1: Reparations and International decade for people of African Descent, evaluation of the programmatic agenda.
2. Group 2: Women of African Descent, decolonization and intersectionality. The struggle against patriarchy, capitalism and racism towards the construction of a new civilization project.
3. Group 3: The protagonist participation, integral defense of the territories’ sovereignty and self -determination of peoples.
4. Group 4: Afro-descendant youth against racialization of power relations, dialogue, intergenerational and social justice.
5. Group 5: Re-articulation of Afro-descendant movements of the left in order to build a new global correlation of services in the pursuit of defeating imperialism and to achieve ethnic recognition of African Descent in the exercise of power.
The groups all then had the opportunity to report to the masses about what was discussed and a final declaration was prepared.
It was my 6th trip to this beautiful country and once again I enjoyed every minute, mostly because the everyday, every minute healthy and deep rooted interactions with people from all over the world, who are working in their communities to lift the social consciousness of the masses.