228 Venezuelan Movements Form Sexual Diversity Council

Tamara Pearson

Mérida, April 25th 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Movements for LGBTI rights in the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) met yesterday to form a sexual diversity council. Other movements and grassroots organisations in the revolutionary pole have also formed women’s, youth, and environmental councils, among others, in the lead up to the first national GPP assembly.

People representing 228 movements or groups met yesterday in Caracas to form the Patriotic Council of Sexual Diversity.

Spokesperson of the promotion team of the council (which organised the meeting), Ingrid Baron, said, “The socialist process led by Hugo Chavez has made the sexual diversity sector of the population visible and has included the sector in its policies.”

“Years ago we were subject to… a patriarchal system that had us on our knees, that marked us out,” said Ronny Ortega, spokesperson for the Revolutionary Sexual Diversity Movement of Aragua state. “But now, thanks to the Bolivarian revolution, we can say that we are part of the construction of a new country that goes against that system.”

Isis Ochoa, minister of communes and social protection, announced that the government had created the first centre of attention for transgender citizens, where they can receive “not just health care but also assistance with productive inclusion.”

Baron criticised that many of the revolution’s achievements, such as the right under the Civil Register Law of 2010, to change one’s name if it doesn’t correspond to one’s gender, a 2008 Supreme Court ruling that under the constitution, discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal, and the recent leasing law which prohibits discrimination according to gender or sexual identity when publicising rooms or houses for rent, have been “made invisible” by the private media.

“It’s our struggle, the sexual diversity movement’s struggle is the revolutionary one, because they aren’t going to give us anything, we haven’t come here to beg, we’re here to proclaim our space [in society],” said Baron.

Other GPP councils formed

500 representatives formed the Patriotic Council for Popular Economy on 16 April. The council includes people involved in communal economic projects and socialist productive models.

The day after, rural worker representatives created the Patriotic Council of Rural Workers and Fishers, and on18 April, the housing council and the science and technology council were created. Then, on 19 April, over 2000 youth participated in an assembly to form their council.

On 31 March representatives of 2,748 women’s organisations and committees of the Mothers of the Barrio mission also formed the Women’s Patriotic Council.

Finally, on 12 and 13 April, community and alternative media activists met in Caracas to discuss the formation of their council, deciding to elect five national spokespeople through their regional promotion teams. Councils for afro-descendents, environmentalists, transport workers, and people with disabilities have also been created.

The councils are being formed in the lead up to the first national assembly of the GPP, which will be held soon, and which will formalise the creation of the organisation, as well as its structures and leadership.

The GPP was launched last year with the idea of uniting all those movements, collectives, and social organisations which support the Bolivarian revolution. Its purpose is to support President Hugo Chavez’s re-election in October, as well as the consolidation and deepening of the revolution now and beyond the election. 35,000 grassroots organisations nationwide registered in the GPP in October last year, and from then on the Pole has been in a process grassroots meetings at various regional and national levels, in order to create its organisational structures.

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