Upcoming Venezuela Delegations May, June and July 2014

Witness for Peace Southwest and Chiapas Support Committee presents:

Venezuela Delegation celebrating Afro-Venezuelan History Month

May 20–29, 2014

pdvsa march VZ

Venezuela is at the forefront of revolutionary movements in the Americas. Along with worker´s rights, May also celebrates Afro-Venezuelan history month and is full of events marking the significant political, cultural and social contributions of the African Diaspora and the specific struggles of afro-descendents in Venezuela. This delegation comes one year after the passing of revolutionary leader and former President Hugo Chávez. More than ever the Venezuelan people and countries across the Americas continue to support the Bolivarian and socialist project that he and the people championed. And more recently, this delegation comes as an act of resistance and solidarity following the right wing opposition´s violent attempts to overthrow the democratically elected Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro and garner international support for foreign, namely US, intervention. Please join us for what promises to be a remarkable time to celebrate Venezuela’s revolutionary spirit, past and present.

Themes: African Diaspora, Current political relationship with African nations, African Descent in the Americas, Cumbes/Comunes, Black organizing exchanges, US policy towards Venezuela, Venezuela’s involvement in political and economic alternatives like ALBA and CELAC and learn about government social programs in education, health and worker cooperatives. Geographical regions: Caracas, Barlovento e Higuerota, Edo. Miranda, Coro, Falcón, Edo. Yaracuy.

Dates: May 17 to May 26

May 25 is the Day of the Marronage, Día de cimarronaje

The term marronage, maroon when referencing an individual, historically speaks to to African resistance to slavery in the America. Enslaved Africans and their descendants escaped slavery to create autonomous communities and cultures in regions away from plantations in forests, jungles, mountaintops and valleys across the corners of the American continent. Often times they also organized with the indigenous first nation peoples of their region and collaboratively led rebellions and offenses against European colonizers, settlers in the Americas and their empires. In Venezuela prior to the independence movement led by Simón Bolívar, rebellions led by Negro Miguel, José Leonardo Chirinos and Guaicaipuro made great strides to challenge colonial empire. In contemporary Venezuelan vernacular, the term cimarronear or cimarroneando, is commonly used in Afro-Venezuelan communities to reference someone who organizes in the name of revolution.

Cost: The price of the 10-day delegation is approx $900 USD. This delegation fee covers all set-up, preparation, 2 meals a day, lodging, interpreters, and transportation within Venezuela. The fee also covers extensive reading and activist tools both before and after the delegation. Airfare to Caracas is not included. Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 due by April 28, 2014. Partial scholarships are available. For a scholarship application and fundraising assistance email tanya@wfpsw.org.

About our Trip Leaders in Venezuela:

Jeanette Charles is a grassroots educator, writer and youth organizer from Los Angeles, California. Member of the Chiapas Support Committee and board member for Witness for Peace Southwest. Jeanette has spent considerable time in and across the continental Americas with Afro and indigenous communities as well as popular media collectives. Jeanette is currently located in Caracas, Venezuela and recently became a writer for Telesur-English.

Tanya Cole is Director of Witness for Peace Southwest an organization dedicated to advocating for a more just and humane US Foreign policy towards Latin America. Tanya has led over 2 dozen delegations to 6 countries in Latin America including Venezuela.

For more info and an application Contact: Tanya Cole, Witness for Peace Southwest 805-669-VIVA or tanya@wfpsw.org or Jeanette Charles jcharles913@gmail.com.



Summer Study Delegation to Venezuela . You are invited!


Health, Social Policy, and Poder Popular in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

June 22-July 1, 2014


The UN declaration of human rights articulates a right to health that is inseparable from rights to other basic human needs, such as food, housing, education, gainful employment, social security when an individual is unable to work, political participation, and leisure. The premise is that the promotion and protection of health requires living conditions that assure human dignity. At the turn of the 21st century several governments in Latin America assumed the responsibility to guarantee a life of dignity for all their citizens. One such country was Venezuela under the revolutionary leadership of the late Commander Hugo Chavez Frias. The challenge required a commitment to appropriate the power of the state to turn it into an instrument of the power of the people, i.e., the Poder Popular suppressed in Venezuela despite decades of liberal democracy which granted a right to vote yet in practice suppressed the voice and actual political, economic, cultural and social participation of the majority of Venezuelans in their own society.


Since 1999, the voice, and concomitantly the power of the Venezuelan people have found new and powerful ways of expression through a revolutionary Constitution and an increasing number of people-centered social, economic, and public health policies. This trip will familiarize participants with these policies by bringing to life the historical development of the struggle of the Venezuelan people for a life of dignity. We will learn about, and visit a range of programs that are the expression of the ‘Misiones’ or Missions. The Missions are the Bolivarian Government’s way to implement a universal right to food, housing, health, education, gainful employment, information, and leisure. Our focus will be health, and we will spend a fair amount of time learning about Barrio Adentro, the Mission born from a cooperative agreement between the Venezuelan and Cuban governments to bring health services to every corner of the country. But because health is inseparable from other basic human needs, we will also visit and learn about Mercal (producer-to-consumer distribution cooperatives), Mision AgroVenezuela (resource development for food sovereignty), Mision Vivienda (building of dignified housing), Mision Vacaciones (guaranteed leisure for children), and many other Missions that underpin Venezuela’s contribution to a life of health and dignity.


This delegation is sponsored by the human rights organization Witness for Peace Southwest. Our hosts will be doctors and nurses at primary care centers, community clinics and hospitals, peasants (‘campesinos’) at agro-ecological cooperatives, workers at workers-run factories, agricultural engineers, educators and government officials.


Dates: June 22nd (arrival date) to July 1st (departure date)

Cost: $900 which include full program in Venezuela, airport pick up and drop off, in country transportation, bi-lingual trip leaders and interpretation, 1-2 meals a day, background reading materials, donations to Venezuelan organizations, and lodging. Airfare to Caracas is not included. $150 deposit due by May 20, 2014.


For further information contact: Claudia Chaufan, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Sociology-University of California San Francisco, Claudia.Chaufan@UCSF.edu . Also Tanya Cole-Witness for Peace Southwest, tanya@wfpsw.org or 805-669-VIVA. www.wfpsw.org, www.facebook.com/wfpsw



Participatory Democracy in Venezuela: Celebrating the Anniversary and Spirit of Simon Bolivar.

July 19-27, 2014

 An Altruvistas and Witness for Peace Southwest Delegation

CHAVEZ-supporters-_2504378kWe read about Venezuela in the news but the media most often provides a distorted and biased perspective on this country that is at the forefront of revolutionary movements in the Americas. Come to Venezuela and see the reality first-hand. This is a historic time to bear witness to the dramatic changes taking place in our hemisphere. Please join us for what promises to be a remarkable time to celebrate Venezuela’s revolutionary spirit, past and present.

This delegation offers opportunities to:

  • Understand U.S. policies toward Venezuela and their potential impact on the people of Venezuela.

  • Gain insight into innovative social programs of the Chavez and Maduro governments such as health care, education and cooperatives.

  • Celebrate with millions of Venezuelans the birth of Simon Bolivar, known as the Liberator of South America on July 24th.

  • Meet with labor organizers, scholars, professionals, business people, representatives of the media and activists to understand the economic, social and political issues confronting Venezuelan society.

  • Learn about Venezuela’s involvement regional alternatives models like ALBA and CELAC.

  • Travel outside of the capital to learn about rural and afro-indigenous communities.

Cost: $1700. This delegation fee covers all set-up, preparation, 2 meals a day, 3-Star Hotel, interpreters, and transportation within Venezuela. The fee also covers extensive reading and activist tools both before and after the delegation. Airfare to Caracas is not included. Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 due by June 19, 2014. Limited space available–Apply early!

 Contact: Tanya Cole, Witness for Peace Southwest 805-669-VIVA or tanya@wfpsw.org or Malia Everette at 415-735-5407 or Malia@altruvistas.com

To learn more about socially responsible travel opportunities around the world go to www.altruvistas.com

 For a scholarship application and fundraising assistance email tanya@wfpsw.org.


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