News Release

Racism of the Venezuelan Opposition


JAMES EARLY, earlytempos at
Early has spent time in Venezuela and is former director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He is a board member of the Institute for Policy Studies and the Regional Articulation of Afro Descendants Latin America and Caribbean.

While many of the members of the Embassy Protection Collective who are currently at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C. have pointed to racism among the pro-opposition protesters currently surrounding the embassy, see this video for example, James Early highlights that racism is a feature of much of the opposition in Venezuela. He said: “From 2007, several or more Afro-descendants have been burned alive by the violent sectors of the opposition. There were regular depictions in elements of the opposition of Chavez as a monkey — they highlight his curly hair and big lips as part of the racialized nature of their outlook. Skin color is a substantial indicator of privilege in Venezuela.”