[Marxism] US indigenous tribe Pebenscot struggle, with Venezuelan help

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jun 17 19:03:54 MDT 2008

At 08:53 PM 6/17/2008, you wrote:
>US: Penobscots struggle, with Venezuelan help
>John Riddell & Suzanne Weiss
>13 June 2008
>The Penobscots have established good relations with the Venezuelan
>government of socialist President Hugo Chavez. The director of the Penobscot
>museum told us that he had met Chavez this year — he paid their island
>nation a visit during a US trip.

Peru and Guatemala are in a simmering state right now and there is 
every possibility that the revolts might come to a full boil at some 
point in the future. Although Colombia does not have a large 
indigenous population as such, the meztiso population of the country 
could easily identify with such struggles to their West and North. 
The Colombian peasants may have not descended from mighty indigenous 
empires like the Inca or the Maya, but they still understand that 
their class interests are the same as the Peruvian and Guatemalans.

The Chiapas struggle is probably serving to inspire an upsurge in the 
North American Indian movement. In the various newspapers and 
Internet forums devoted to the Indian struggle, there is constant 
discussion of the importance of Chiapas. When I went to a powwow in 
the East Village a few months ago, there were leaflets everywhere 
announcing a protest at the Mexican consulate. The AIM leaders who 
visited Nicaragua to offer solidarity to the Miskitus will 
undoubtedly extend their support to the Chiapas Indians. This cause 
will be much less politically ambivalent than the one took place in Nicaragua.

The Latin American population in the United States continues to grow. 
The New York Times reported that there are 200,000 Mexicans living 
here, mostly from the state of Puebla. The same sort of economic 
contradictions that plague Chiapas drove them from Mexico. The Times 
reports that many do not even speak Spanish, but one or another 
Indian language, including Mextico. If the struggle in Mexico grows 
to the next level, there is every possibility that Latinos across the 
United States will join in powerful solidarity movement. New York 
City is also home to tens of thousands of Colombians. What if the 
United States decides to invade Colombia to help wipe out the 
guerrillas at the same time that it is trying to suppress revolts in 
Peru and southern Mexico? Latin American nationalism and 
internationalism might explode from as far south as Argentina to the 
northern cities such as Boston and Chicago.

In the meantime, the American Indian movement continues to assert 
itself. The Blackfeet peoples of the United States and Canada have 
decided that it is up to them to determine what the geographical and 
cultural boundaries of their nation should be. More power to them. As 
they and other North American Indian nations find ways to make their 
own alliances, they will certainly find an affinity with struggles to 
their south.

Such struggles will reverberate with those of other land-based 
peoples in Africa, from the Ogoni in Nigeria, to the aborigines in 
Australia. The issues are almost the same everywhere you go. They are 
the desire for economic development for the good of the people rather 
than the predatory corporations in their midst, respect for the 
ecology of the ancestral lands and the need to preserve cultural 
identity, including language and religions.

full: http://www.columbia.edu/%7Elnp3/mydocs/indian/chiapas.htm 

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