Afro-Venezuelan History; Lawmaker's U.S. Tour

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[Global: Venezuela]

Venezuela celebrates Africa Month in May. The national day of Afro-Venezuelaniety, was created by the National Assembly in 2005, and is honored on May 10.

In recognition of these important celebrations, the embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is pleased to announce the visit of  Venezuelan Congressman Modesto Ruiz Espinoza, President of the Subcommittee on Legislation, Participation, Warranties, Duties and Rights of African Descendants in the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States.

He will visit Washington, D.C., Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, where he will be participating in different activities where he will discuss the advancements as well as the challenges in the struggle for racial justice and social inclusion in Venezuela.

Modesto Ruiz has been a deputy in Venezuela’s National Assembly from the state of Miranda since 2006.  In 2009 he became the President of the Subcommittee on Legislation, Participation, Warranties, Duties and Rights of African Descendants. In that capacity, he was recently responsible for the drafting of a national law against racial discrimination and intolerance that is expected to be passed this May.

In 2006, he helped draft the Law of Communal Councils that was later approved by the National Assembly. He has been a member of the Parliamentary Friendship Groups of the National Assembly between Venezuela and various African countries including Gambia and Angola and was the Chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Namibia in 2009.

Prior to his career in the National Assembly, he was a city councilman for the municipality of Andres Bello in Miranda State, 1993-1995, and shortly after was elected Mayor of that same municipality until 2000.
He is a journalist by training and has been involved for many years in promoting policies that recognize and uplift the Afro-Venezuelan population. He has also been involved in the move to include recognition of Afro-Venezuelans as a distinct group for the purposes of the 2011 Census in Venezuela and has been a member of the Network of Afro-Venezuelan Organizations since 2007.

Background on Afrovenezuelans and the Struggle against Racism.


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