This Tuesday, 1,250 community assemblies elected eight Indigenous representatives to Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly, ANC. The popular assemblies were carried out in the municipalities of Angostura, Sucre, Cedeño, Heres, Caroni, Sifontes and Gran Sabana.
This was the first election in which Indigenous people had regional assemblies to elect their representatives to the legislative body that will draft a new Constitution.
“Thus brothers and sisters, today we all win, the whole Indigenous movement won, because we have demonstrated love, and above all peace and dialogue,” Indigenous leader and candidate elected Aloha Nuñez said during an assembly.
“We will be there in the Constituent Assembly, guaranteeing the participation of all the Indigenous people of Venezuela.”
The three members who will represent the Indigenous populace for the eastern region of Venezuela in the ANC were chosen by the Indigenous peoples in the state of Bolivar, said Yaritza Aray, Indigenous deputy to the Legislative Council of Bolivar.
Aray explained that the Indigenous peoples have the right to elect eight representatives in the assembly, territorially chosen according to the presence of these communities in the different regions of the country. For the Eastern Region, three constituent Indigenous representatives will be chosen to represent the states of Anzoategui, Apure, Bolivar, Monagas and Delta Amacuro.
These representatives will join the four chosen by the western region states of Zulia, Merida and Trujillo as well as one from the southern region states of Apure and Amazonas.
The main objectives of the Indigenous candidates will be to create an Indigenous Electoral Registration Law and improve the education given to their children. They will also be tasked with preserving and disseminating their respective languages, histories and cultural heritage.
The National Electoral Council established that the nomination and election of Indigenous candidates would be carried out through general community assemblies, according to their traditions and customs.
On Sunday, elections were held to elect representatives to the ANC. Over 8 million citizens participated, according to official estimates.
The assembly is tasked with re-drafting the Venezuelan Constitution and was convened by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as a means to extend the social rights established by the current Constitution.
The ANC is meant to lead the nation toward dialogue, strengthening the fight against U.S.-backed opposition violence and foreign interventionism while overcoming oil dependency and improving the economy.