On May 8, we participated in “Seeds for the Union,” the first communal exchange of seeds organized by the Che Guevara and El Maizal communes. This is a project being put forward by the Union of Communes (Unión Comunera). The event took place during the commemoration of the Che Guevara Commune’s 8th anniversary. Local organizations there have recovered the farming of cocoa and now are producing chocolate. They contributed to this first seed exchange with cocoa and coffee seeds. Members of El Maizal brought corn and black bean seeds from their production in the area where the states of Lara and Portuguesa meet.
Both communes are examples of what can be achieved through popular organization and political consciousness. This is an agro-ecological exchange in the spirit of solidarity that guides the purpose of the communes. In a time of severe blockade, the communards have shown that our native seeds can be recovered and that through solidarity, communes can help each other grow when resources are scarce. Furthermore, their cooperation transcends just the component of production. Political education is also part of this cooperation, a necessary element for strengthening social relations and understanding the current conjuncture.
There was also an important internationalist presence at the event. The Landless Rural Workers Movement of Brazil (MST) shared a donation of their agro-ecological seeds for this exchange in a display of solidarity and commitment to the common cause of people’s emancipation.
- On May 10, we participated in the first historic meeting between the Secretariat of ALBA-TCP and 19 critical thinking institutions from the Global South, with the aim of establishing a working relationship and constructing a document with post-pandemic policy proposals that offer real solutions to the current crisis. Together with the Simon Bolivar Institute, participants included Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, the Samuel Robinson Institute (Venezuela), ALAI, the Center for Research on the Congo, the Chris Hani Institute (South Africa), the World Economy Research Center (Cuba), the Center for State Reform (Italy), the International Policy Research Center (Cuba), the Patria Institute (Argentina), the Patria Grande Institute (Bolivia), the Andres Bello International Research Institute (Bolivia), the Consultation and Research Institute (Lebanon), the Foundation for Education in Social Transformation and Progress (Kenya), the International Research Center DDR (Germany), the Marx Memorial Library (UK), the Global South Observatory (Argentina), the Research Group of the Popular Education Initiative (Ghana), the Society for Social and Economic Research (India), and the Uralungal Labor Contract Co-operative Society Research Institute (India).
- The current situation in Palestine demands our solidarity, awareness, and action. For seven decades now, the Israeli government has been escalating their aggression against the Palestinian people and the integrity of Palestinian territories. Under the Trump Administration, the Israeli government was further emboldened. As Netanyahu’s political future remains uncertain, he is carrying out more actions aimed at rallying extremists and suppressing Palestinian presence, life, and sovereignty even further. The displacement of Palestinians in the area of Sheik Jarrah and the attack on the al-Aqsa mosque raise the level of aggression. The death toll in Gaza has already risen to 119, 31 of them minors, after the Israeli military offensive. We call out these attacks and ask for active solidarity in defense of Palestine and its people and respect for international law, which condemns the illegal Israeli settlement policy.
- Colombians continue to face brutal repression from the right-wing government since the April 28 national strike against new tax laws began. The Duque government has since retracted its original legislation proposal, and even cabinet members have resigned. The country is practically militarized against the demonstrations, and some government spokespersons have encouraged armed paramilitary violence. Together with the Colombian police, these armed civilians have opened fire against Indigenous leaders, seriously injuring 9 of them. Likewise, social movements report the assassination of 47 persons, 2,000 cases of police violence, and 12 victims of sexual violence. We remain in steadfast solidarity with the Colombian people.
- We are saddened by the death of Juan Jose Bautista Segales, a friend of Venezuela and a Bolivian decolonial thinker who fused Marxism with the philosophies of our Indigenous peoples. His necessary philosophy, committed to social transformation, will continue to guide us towards building a society of “Buen Vivir” (Good Living). On the question of modernity, he wrote: “…when we ingeniously depart from the modern worldview of history, science and technology, what we automatically deduced is our supposedly innate, inferior historical and cultural character. Thus, what we again deduce is that the only way for us to develop ourselves, or that we can exit this state of inferiority and ‘underdevelopment’, is to seek, at all cost, the modernization of all of our relations. But what we do not realize is that precisely within this type of procedure, hides the conundrum of our ‘underdevelopment’, when desiring to be what we are not (‘developed’), we end up denying what we were in order to be what we are not”.