Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 1:

Venezuela is a unique country. It is pulling away from the reins of corporate capitalism and instead embracing programs that allow every person living in Venezuela a dignified and healthy life. Throughout the country are free health clinics with minimal wait times and no fees, including prescriptions. Every person can be educated through university and the illiteracy rate is nearing 0%. Food Sovereignty is written into the Venezuelan Agricultural Policy and the Ministry of Agriculture is working with farmers to provide them with the tools they need to be productive small scale farmers. Fishermen have organized to prohibit industrial trawling in all of Venezuela's Exclusive Economic Zone, which reaches 200 miles out from shore.

Since internet connection is difficult, below is a glimpse of a few fishermen, farmers and the countryside of Venezuela.

Julio Cesar Moreno is the Spokesperson for the National Organization of Fishermen and Fisherwomen of Venezuela. He has been fishing for 21 years and has worked to pass a revolutionary law:
“In our fishing law, we have a fishing article that eliminates industrial trawling. It is the only country that has eliminated industrial trawling. Only 6% of the big catch actual goes to be commercialized. The rest just is dumped back as waste. And trawling does not give the opportunity for the little fish to grow into big fish. The fish caught by industrial trawling does not get to reach its sexual maturity. And it disrupts the environmental equilibrium in the marine ecosystem. So, this law of fishing we have protects both the fisherfolk and the fish.”

Sara Medino coordinates about 40 urban farms throughout Caracas. She works with schools to teach children the benefits of farming: “The School Projects help the kids become conscious about farming. The kids are like a sponge and when you teach them they enjoy it. Since all of us come from the earth, the kids enjoy connecting with the earth. Before they went on vacation they made a farm and they got to take home a basket of vegetables and when they come back they will be inspired to do the same thing again."

A young cacao producer, Elvyn Rinean, takes his cacao to the community-run cacao processor where he receives a fair price and consumers receive the highest quality cacao. Elvyns believes that, "We are all slaves to the system and when we realize that, we move from being slaves to being enslaved and only then can we break free and create a better world.”

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