DSA International Committee and CODEPINK teamed up to host three Venezuelan feminist activists, Mónica M., Anggie H. and Yolimar M., to the United States to discuss the impact of illegal US sanctions against their country and how they disproportionately hurt women and children.
Between May 28th and June 11th, they toured 7 US cities: NYC, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Durham (NC), Portland (OR), San Francisco, and Los Angeles to end as guest speakers at The People’s Summit. Local DSA chapters hosted the delegations and coordinated local events as they traveled across the country to speak about life under illegal US sanctions and the Venezuelan resistance to hybrid war
New York City – May 28
Philadelphia – May 30
Washington DC – June 1
Durham, NC – June 4
Portland, OR – June 6
San Francisco – June 8
Los Angeles – June 10
Los Angeles – June 11
The Venezuelan Activists:
Mónica M. is a professor, arts administrator, writer and student of Afro-Venezuelan drumming traditions. She is a professor of literature and culture at the National Experimental Arts University (Unearte) and writes a regular column for online magazines EpaleCCS (Hey Caracas) and Ciudad Caracas (Caracas City). Mónica also manages Herencia, a drumming group that seeks to preserve Afro-Venezuelan musical traditions through research, workshops and performances. She is currently pursuing specializations in Cultural Economy at Unearte and in Black Studies at the Latin American Council for Social Sciences (Clacso).
Anggie H. is an Indigenous Wayuu feminist and activist. She is the administrator and treasurer of the Woumain Waneesia civil association which gives workshops on indigenous rights in areas at risk of coal mining. Previously she was the vice president of Municipal Institute for Women and Gender Equality of Maracaibo, Venezuela’s second largest city. She is currently studying political science and is an active member of the Cimarrón Feminist Harvest Collective and the Todas Nosotras Violeta social movement.
Yolimar M. is an industrial engineer, a member of the internationalist brigade of Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement (MST) in Venezuela, and part of the Todas Nosotras Violeta movement, which offers workshops on sexual and reproductive rights. She has worked at PDVSA, Petrocaribe and as a teacher at the National Institute for Socialist Training and Education, as well as at Misión Sucre, a social mission that provides free higher education to adults.
Objectives of the brigade:
- Deepen the internationalist and anti-imperialist struggle.
- Build and strengthen the bonds of friendship and mutual solidarity between the social movements of Venezuela and the United States in order to build a common internationalist and anti-imperialist agenda of struggle.
- Defend the right to self-determination of the people of Venezuela.
- Raise awareness about the reality of life in Venezuela in order to dismantle the myths and media manipulation of the international corporate media.
- Sensitize the people of Venezuela about the great contradictions and struggles faced by the poor people from the United States, demonstrating a truth that is not seen in the mainstream media.
Resources on impacts of sanctions:
Illegal Sanctions Against Venezuela: A Feminist Human Rights Perspective
In October 2021, DSA’s International Committee hosted a discussion “Illegal Sanctions Against Venezuela: A Feminist Human Rights Perspective” featuring Lucrecia Hernandez of the human rights NGO Sures; and Laura Franco of La Quinta Ola (La 5ta Ola), a national feminist organization and co-author of a rebuttal to a New York Times article about contraception in Venezuela that barely mentioned illegal sanctions. The moderator was Leonardo Flores of Code Pink.
Unilateral sanctions hurt all, especially women, children and other vulnerable groups – UN human rights expert
“Women in particular are impacted heavily. They are the ones that often have to go to obtain clean water for their families, and when sanctions cause economic activity to decline they are typically the first to lose their jobs and be targeted by traffickers for sexual exploitation.”
-Alena Douhan, UN Special Rapporteur
United Nations Children’s Fund – 2022 Study
“The toll on society and on children worsens, as the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela endures its seventh year of economic contraction aggravated by hyperinflation, political tensions, sanctions and increasing violence. The pandemic has intensified this situation.”
Venezuelan women endure the “sanctions” with their bodies
“…in 2012, Venezuela granted completely free access to safe and quality contraceptives, reaching a coverage of 22.16% in the national public health system. Access was nearly universal both due to the purchasing power of Venezuelans at the time and because both private and public health networks were subsidized up to 70% by the government, with funds guaranteed by the country’s foreign income.
This reality changed abruptly in 2014 with the formal beginning of aggression that took the form of economic warfare and the application of unilateral coercive measures (UCMs) against Venezuela. One of the negative effects that occurred early on was precisely the shortage of contraceptives and their elevated prices. The result: a loss of autonomy over our sexuality, limiting the capacity for prevention and family planning. This led to increases in a variety of indicators such as teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and maternal mortality, which we condemn as collateral damage of the sanctions.”