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HOV Interviews Zaki Baruti of the UAPO in St. Louis
Wednesday, 08 November 2006

Could you tell us your name, organization, etc.?

My name is Zaki Baruti, I'm President-General of the Universal African People's Organization, whose base headquarters is St. Louis, Missouri.

Zaki Baruti

Zaki Baruti, President-General of the Universal African People's Organization

Why do you think the question of Venezuela is important for working people and African-American workers in particular here in the United States?

Well, the question of Venezuela is very important to working people and people of African descent on several levels. Number one, the workers across the United States and throughout the world are constantly exploited by the owners of various factories and the appendages of capitalism, so what's taking place in Venezuela with the workers being empowered sets an example for the western hemisphere as well as throughout the world.

It's very important that we stand in complete solidarity with the workers of the world. In particular to the African community its very important that in Venezuela itself there is a sizeable population of people of African descent to the degree of 30%. As we know, across the world people of African descent are normally the most oppressed, and with the revolution that's being led by our brother Hugo Chavez, the vestiges of oppression are being broken, so he will serve as a model for our people as far as one who is seeking and actualizing liberation. As well as the kinds of programs that empower people to have free health care is an example that must be played out across the world, especially in this country where we see over 45 million people who do not have access to proper health care.

So, we at the Universal African People's Organization, as I sit with my brothers next to me Sau'deh, Lionel, Hakim and other brothers and sisters we say - Long live the Venezuelan Revolution! Long live Hugo Chavez! Long live the workers in Brazil who have taken over the factories because factories are closed here because of economic policies, that need to be re-opened. We need to begin to emulate the model being set there.

Do you have any specific message then for the workers of Freteco in Venezuela, and to the Pan-American Gathering of Occupied Factories, of the Landless Peasants Movement in Venezuela and Brazil, and workers in struggle around the rest of Latin America?

Let me salute the brothers and sisters who are coming from across the world to convene around the question of factory takeovers. Keep up the good work!  Bring it back to organize in the poor areas of the United States and across the world, because we must for the salvation of this generation and future generations have a new world order that is based on peace, justice and equality for everyone, and an equitable distribution of wealth for everybody.

UAPO Comrades in St. Louis

Some of the comrades of the UAPO at their offices in St. Louis 


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