ON MARCH 29TH, the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines through the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation (IVCC) Hugo Chávez Frías held the closing ceremony of the January-March term 2021 of the Spanish courses and the Venezuelan culture workshops delivered free of charge to the Vincentian people.
A total of 55 Vincentian students from levels 1,3,4,5 and 6 successfully completed their academic activities and participation in the different aesthetic-ludic workshops: Musical expression, with the Cuatro workshop and Venezuelan and Caribbean literature; workshops that allow learning the Spanish language through dynamic and fun practices.
Francisco Pérez Santana, head of the Venezuelan Diplomatic Mission in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, expressed, “we have achieved it”, informing that the Venezuelan people have been in constant resistance to the blockade imposed by the United States Government against the Venezuelan homeland. Pérez Santana demonstrated with exact figures during his presentation all the aggressions and robberies that the people of Venezuela have been exposed to since 2015 until today, highlighting that [former US president Barack] Obama’s decree is: “A decree that prompted the Trump administration to implement unilateral, coercive and criminal sanctions since 2017, which has meant the application of more than 150 unilateral coercive measures, with the aim of generating a destabilizing climate in the country”.
The head of the diplomatic mission reiterated that these sanctions “have limited the quality of life of the population, despite the fact that these attacks have been repeatedly denounced to the international community”. He stressed: “Despite this scenario that has made our people suffer, this Embassy and its Institute have remained standing, demonstrating with dignity that we are a people that resists and work above any obstacle. That, despite this scenario of sanctions, you dear students have received the best in Spanish and Latin American, Caribbean and Venezuelan culture classes that you could have ever received”.
He also took the opportunity to report that a number of projects are being carried out with the Ministry of Education and National Reconciliation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Curtis King, Minister of Education and National Reconciliation in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines assured: “Today Venezuela continues to struggle to rid itself of foreign domination, today Venezuela continues to fight for the right to decide a path that will bring development to its own people without interference from others…The Ambassador spoke about embargoes and sanctions, and even now we know that there are foreigners involved in a violent attack, a military attack on the Venezuelan people. Despite all these challenges, Venezuela has maintained its international solidarity with the people of the Caribbean, with the people of Latin America, and one has to commend Venezuela because despite all these challenges, it still seeks to make the world a better place”.
Minister of State, Keisal Peters expressed her joy at participating in the ceremony that shows the academic and cultural level of the IVCC.
Minister Peters, as a former student of the IVCC, acknowledged the efforts and the permanent work being done by the Bolivarian government.
“Our peoples, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela are a testimony of resilience in the face of the pandemic and I congratulate the IVCC and the Venezuelan embassy because they have been able to continue imparting linguistic and cultural knowledge to students and diverse activities despite the presence of the Covid-19 and the limitations that this implies. I congratulate its coordinator, your teachers and the students”, Peters said.
In turn, the Academic Coordinator of the Institute, Dr. Andreina Bermúdez, stated that at the IVCC: “We have not stopped the march to strengthen the integral formation of the Vincentian students. On the contrary, we have made every possible effort to keep the flame of resistance, unity and integration among our peoples alive, legacy of Commander Hugo Chávez” and explained to the students the effort involved in the shift from face-to-face classes to online classes; such as the search for digital content, tools and materials, among others.
“We commit ourselves every day to follow the path of humanity, assuming the Bolivarian principle of solidarity and brotherhood as the essence of our actions. We remain committed to the integral formation of the Vincentians, sharing our knowledge, our culture and fulfilling Commander Chávez’s legacy of sharing what we have and not what is left over, which is our knowledge and experiences”, Bermúdez said.
Professor Nauris Sam, speaking on behalf of the teaching team, conveyed her congratulatory words to the students while recognizing the importance of teaching Spanish as a foreign language in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. She invited students to continue practicing the language on a permanent basis with reading and hearing-comprehension exercises. She also thanked the Venezuelan government for giving her the opportunity to share her knowledge and cultural experiences with students.
As usual, students gave a sample of everything learned during the first quarter of online classes in 2021, such as music, Cuatro, poetry and stories, starting with level 1 who recited the poem Adios a nivel 1 which they wrote, and chanted the famous Cuban song Guantanamera in which they also produced and edited the video presented. The level 3 students recited No se por qué piensas tu from the Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén.
Level 4 presented the poem “Esconderse en la flora” by Venezuelan singer-songwriter Ali Primera. And to close, Level 6 presented a section of short stories written during the quarter and read the Tales of the Spider.
Alberto Arvelo Torrealba’s Poem Por aquí paso was emotionally recited by students of the Afro-Latin American and Caribbean Literature workshop, receiving applauses and congratulatory expressions from the 65 people connected through the digital platform used for the online ceremony.
The participants of the Cuatro Workshop moved everyone with their presentations on El despertar de la historia of Ali Primera, dedicated to the Venezuelan people “for the resistance they have had in defense of their people’s rights against imperialist sanctions”, said one of the workshop’s students, Terron Scott and the song Linda Barinas ,to honor Commander Hugo Chávez for being one of his favorite songs.
To close, Spanish language level 4 student, Akeila Crichton expressed: “the professors and coordinator of the Institute did everything possible so that the students could learn the designated materials. We students are grateful for all the efforts that have been made to ensure the learning of the Spanish language. We thank the Venezuelan Institute, the Venezuelan Embassy in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines… despite the economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, the Embassy and the Venezuelan Institute continue to strengthen the ties of friendship between the two countries; where in the world can people have access to this kind of education and for free? Nowhere in the world; for which we are highly grateful for giving us this opportunity”, said Crichton.