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Social protest movements in Venezuela

Research the types of social protest movements in Venezuela. Possible types of protest include environmental, feminist, peasant, labor, minority, indigenous, and religious protest, Focus on examples of social protest, not social revolutions or general political history.

1. Your essay should discuss specific examples of social protest, but it need not cover every type of protest.

2. What were the motivations or reasons given for protest? Are they linked to economic conditions?

3. Oftentimes, religious groups play a role in addressing social and economic problems. How have they been involved in your country?

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Please see the response attached, which is also presented below. I hope this helps and take care.

1. Research the types of social protest movements in Venezuela. Possible types of protest include environmental, feminist, peasant, labor, minority, indigenous, and religious protest, Focus on examples of social protest, not social revolutions or general political history. Your essay should discuss specific examples of social protest, but it need not cover every type of protest. b. What were the motivations or reasons given for protest? Are they linked to economic conditions?

My on-line search turned up many "hits", so let's look at the following seven examples of protests and movements for you to consider for the above outline (see in attached response) and for your final copy.

The following response will be organized in the following way: name of the protest group or movement (1.2.3.4.5. and 6), example or examples under the information section, and, finally, the potential motivations.

1. Indigenous and Venezuelan environmental and Leftist social protests

There have been many protests by Indigenous groups historically about land rights and environmental issues that pollute the land and prevent economic sustenance (e.g., farming), which are supported by the Venezuelan environmental and Leftist social protests

Information:

For example, Márquez (2005) reports that indigenous demonstrators protest coal mining. The motivations, however, are rooted in historical land disputes, in addition to environmental concerns. They were supported by the Venezuelan environmental and leftist groups, and mixed in with the crowd was Douglas Bravo, perhaps the best-known communist guerrilla leader in Venezuela in the 1960s and 1970s. "We want the government to hear us: we don't want coal," stressed indigenous leader Panapaera, who added, "Here are our bows and arrows, and we will use them against the miners if they come to our lands. And if we have to die fighting for our lands, we will die." http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=13190

Further Information:

In CARACAS, Apr 4 (2005) (IPS) - Bare-chested, clad in traditional dress and wielding bows and arrows, hundreds of representatives of the Barí, Yukpa and Wayúu indigenous peoples from the westernmost region of Venezuela marched on the capital to demand a halt to coal mining near their lands in the Sierra de Perijá mountain range. Coal mining operations "bring pollution and disease. They are destroying our farming practices, they are going to destroy our water, and they will end up destroying our lives," Cesáreo Panapaera, the leader of 32 Yukpa communities in Tokuko, some 600 kilometres from Caracas, told IPS. Scores of environmentalists and leftist political activists joined the indigenous protestors in their march through downtown Caracas last Thursday. Their destination was the federal government headquarters, but they were stopped 150 metres from its gates by anti-riot police.

"We want to tell compañero President Hugo Chávez that he can't continue granting land concessions in the Sierra and in Guajira (a neighbouring region along the Venezuelan-Colombian border) without consulting us first, as required by the constitution. He speaks very nicely about us, but they haven't demarcated our lands," said Wayúu community leader Angela González.

The indigenous protestors are staunch supporters of the left-wing Chávez. Most were wearing red headbands with pro-government slogans, which date back to the presidential recall referendum last August, when a majority voted to keep the president in office. Others sported red berets, symbolic of the governing Fifth Republic Movement party. "Compañero Chávez, support our cause", read one protest sign, while another declared, "Vito barí atañoo yiroo oshishibain (We don't want coal mining)". Yet another was a copy of the "No" signs used by the pro-government side during the referendum (meaning no to Chávez's removal from the presidency), but altered to read "No Coal". The Sierra de Perijá mountain range, which marks a section of the border between Venezuela and Colombia and has suffered severe deforestation in the latter, along with the neighbouring Guajira peninsula, also straddling both nations, are home to significant coal deposits.

Colombia produces around 40 million tons of coal a year, mainly from two mines in this region, Cerrejón and La Loma.

In 1987, coal operations started up in the Guasare mines of northwestern Venezuela. Last year, production totalled eight million tons. According to estimates, the Sierra-Guajira region contains coal reserves of at least 400 million tons, which means that current production levels could be sustained for another 50 years. Coal production operations are directed through consortiums formed between the Venezuelan state-owned company Carbozulia and a number of transnational corporations: the British-South African firm Anglo American; Ruhrkohle of Germany; Inter-American Coal of the Netherlands; Chevron-Texaco of the United States; and British-Dutch energy giant Shell.

Last year, Carbozulia and Companhia Vale do Rio Doce of Brazil established a new consortium, Carbosuramérica, to undertake additional mining operations in the region. According to the president of the Brazilian corporation, Roger Agnelli, the goal is to raise annual output to 10 million tons within a decade from now. All of the coal is currently transported by truck to the port in the regional capital, Maracaibo. However, there are plans to build both a railway line and a deep-sea port off the western coast of the Gulf of Venezuela, in order to facilitate coal exports from both Venezuela and Colombia. "Venezuela is becoming an exit platform to the Caribbean Sea, through the building of ports, bridges, highways and railways which serve the interests of the countries and transnationals that need to get their products out, but which sacrifice the environment and the rights of the people living in the area," said environmentalist Lusbi Portillo from the Homo et Natura Society, a non-governmental group.

As a result, "we are opposed to these mining-ports projects that form part of the IIRSA (Initiative for South American Regional Infrastructure Integration, promoted by the nascent South American Community of Nations), which will serve to take our energy, mining, forestry and biodiversity resources to Europe and the United States," added Portillo. Along the route used to transport the coal for export, "the water is polluted, waterways are obstructed, the air breathed by humans, animals and plants is contaminated, the habitat of the aboriginal ...

Solution Summary

By responding to the questions, this solution provides research and a discussion on the types of social protest movements in Venezuela on various dimensions.

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