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The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) held a memorial in Durban in honor of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died last March 5. The ceremony was held at NUMSA’s headquarters, on Guevara Road.
The trade union comprises workers of the mining, steel and energy sectors. Hugo Chavez’s memorial on March 24 was held at the end of a seminar organized by NUMSA called “Understanding BRICS through the prism of energy”. Trade unions, social movements and organizations from South Africa, Brazil, Russia, India and China participated in the event, as well as environmental organizations, such as two members of Friends of the Earth International: Friends of the Earth Brazil and groundWork/Friends of the Earth South Africa.
BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, all countries considered “emerging economies”. The Heads of State of BRICS met in Durban from March 25 to 27 to talk about their trade and political relations and the world’s future.
For this reason NUMSA took the opportunity to organize a three-day seminar and a memorial in honor of Chavez to put their concerns on the agenda.
A popular forum named “BRICS bottom-up” was also held in Durban in parallel to the official summit. Over 500 representatives of social organizations from Africa and BRICS participated.
The forum was hosted by groundWork – Friends of the Earth South Africa and the Centre for Civil Society of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and had the support of organizations from all over the world.
We now share the address of the national coordinator of Education of NUMSA, Dinga Sikwebu, during Chavez’s memorial on March 24, together with some chants from the Zulu struggle.
The trade union leader recognized the role of the former Venezuelan President in recovering hope for Latin America and Africa in times of capitalism and of a stronger promotion of the neoliberal model.
Audio kindly provided by Friends of the Earth Brazil.
“No queremos ser mártires, no queremos que hayan más mártires en este país, pero también hay una responsabilidad histórica de hacer valer la palabra y demostrar que tenemos derecho a la construcción de un mundo mejor. Y no podemos huir a esa responsabilidad”, dijo a Radio Mundo Real la dirigente garífuna Miriam Miranda, coordinadora de la Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH).
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