Black Activists Host Venezuelan President Maduro in Harlem

Kicking off the UN decade for African descendants, Maduro joins Black activists in building solidarity with over 200 million people who claim African descent in the Americas

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DAVID DOUGHERTY, TRNN: Leaders of African descendants convened in the historic black cultural center of Harlem, New York for the People of African Descent Leadership Summit. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visiting New York for the United Nations General Assembly attended the summit, which coincides with the UN’s declaration of 2015-2024 as the official decade for people of African descent.

Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi was one of the invited speakers.

OPAL TOMETI: The lives of black people in the U.S. and across the globe are inextricably linked. And we cannot win without global solidarity. And so it’s with that I charge us, this black summit, all of us to fight until every single black life matters.

DOUGHERTY: Organizers of the event called for the establishment of a system of reparations to be delivered to African descendants around the world, whose ancestors were victims of the international slave trade.

SPEAKER: The Africans, Atlantic slave trade has been recognized by the United Nations as a crime against humanity. In fact, it is a holocaust of enormous proportions. It is a crime against all of humanity, you know, not just in the Western world. Not just in Africa. Not just in the Caribbean. But throughout the entire world. And so we hope that this will not just be a celebratory, symbolic recognition of the injustices of the past but serious efforts, hopefully, will be made over the course of this decade to pay back the debt.

DOUGHERTY: Actor-activist and chair of the Trans-Africa Forum Danny Glover introduced President Maduro at the summit.

DANNY GLOVER: He realizes the important of this particular moment at the UN, dedicates this next decade to Afro-descendants. And has proposed a conference, a congress next year to express the ideals and change the dynamics of Africa [inaud.] within this region. In this world. And within this, their respective countries.

DOUGHERTY: President Maduro met with a group of labor leaders and elected officials in a closed meeting before addressing summit attendees, where he stressed the importance of strengthening international ties in the fight against racism and historical injustices committed against African descendants.

[Video of President Nicolas Maduro’s address]

DOUGHERTY: President Maduro addressed the United Nations General Assembly the following day, where he called for the establishment of a multipolar world as a foundation to establish peace in conflict areas like Syria.

Reporting from New York with Sharmini Peries, David Dougherty, the Real News Network.

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DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.