Solidarity Brigade to Caracas

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Australia Venezuela Indigenous Exchange

On August 3, Brigada Primera ventured out early from our lodgings at the Sports Complex to visit 16 young Indigenous students at the National Experimental University in Ciudad Bolivar.

A veteran Indigenous leader was addressing them on the need to become leaders as we arrived. They had come from many universities but most studied at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV), an institution created by the revolution.

These students came from the Karina, Permon, Wanay, and Mopoya indigenous communities and were studying law, social communication, integrated education, environment, economics and information studies at university, two were high school students.

We introduced ourselves and briefly explained the horrible treatment and condition Aboriginal people in Australia have suffered as a result of colonisation. They too had been treated this way in Venezuela before the revolution began, now they are back on the rise.

These young indigenous students propossed that an exchange with Aboriginal people in Australia be organised. Reyna and Raul, both students at the UBV volunteered to help coordinate such an effort. Margaret Gleeson from the Australian brigade also volunteered to propose the project to an indigenous college in Australia.

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