Caracas, August 9, 2022 (Press MinComunas) – On the occasion of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, the Minister of People’s Power for Communes and Social Movements, Jorge Arreaza, spoke this Tuesday about the triumph of the Bolivarian Diplomacy of Peace in the process of rescuing the Kueka stone.
During the commemorative act at the 4F Barracks in 23 de Enero parish in Caracas, Arreaza underlined in his speech, delivered that the repatriation of the “Grandmother Kueka” was a feat materialized since the mandate of Commander Chavez, who since 2011 manifested twice in favor of the return of the stone. He also underlined the efforts of President Nicolas Maduro Moros and the resistance of the Pemon people of Mapauri.
The Minister indicated that Kueka, a sacred stone of great importance and spiritual value for the Pemon people, weighs almost 20 tons and was taken from the Gran Sabana during the government of Rafael Caldera in 1998.
“I have no doubt that if Commander Chavez had been in Miraflores in 1998, Grandmother Kueka would never have left Venezuelan territory”, he emphasized.
He pointed out that that year, the German Embassy and the plastic artist Wolfgang von Schwarzenfeld, who wanted to exhibit the stone in the Tiergarten Metropolitan Park in Berlin, participated in the extraction of the Kueka. He said the artist arrived in Venezuela in confabulation with the National Institute of Parks and the Fourth Republic and took the stone.
He clarified that the Pemon people made their legitimate claim before Commander Chavez, who began a long repatriation process in the most difficult moment of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
During his speech, the Minister spoke about bourgeois and colonial vandalism, highlighting that “they have taken not only our gold and silver but also important symbols, human remains and things of relevance for the identity of the Homeland (…) They continue to take gold, silver, copper, aluminum, gas, iron, and oil”.
He highlighted that Grandma Kueka repatriated in 2020 amid the worst sanctions. Specifically, one month after the pandemic was declared in the Venezuelan territory and even though the government of Germany and the European Union did not recognize Nicolas Maduro as President.
“I believe this achievement is thanks to the spiritual strength of the Pemon people and the indigenous peoples (…) They did not manage to carry out the massive memoricide, which is nothing more than a kind of amnesia so that we do not know who we are, where we come from, or where we are going”, he pointed out.
The head of the communal office pointed out that the Bolivarian Revolution from the times of Commander Chavez and President Maduro as Chancellor built the Bolivarian Diplomacy of Peace and the Bolivarian Diplomacy of the Peoples to promote a sincere and realistic dialogue between peoples and governments.
Timeline of the rescue of the stone
Minister Arreaza, in his presentation, established a timeline for the rescue of the Kueka stone. “The story began in 1999 when the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic ruled the illegality of the extraction. Then, a year later, in 2000, the Foreign Ministry requested the German Ambassador to take measures to return the stone. Between years 2001 and 2011, the Institute of Cultural Heritage formalized the complaint before the Attorney General’s Office and initiated the investigation.”
Subsequently -he stressed- they signed an agreement in the National Assembly on the repatriation, and the stone’s extraction was declared null and void. In 2015, they declared the repatriation appropriate. Two years later, the Institute of Cultural Heritage continued the proceedings, and in 2018 a delegation of Mapauri traveled to the Tiergarten Metropolitan Park in Berlin, where Kueka was exposed to make a ceremony to help them in the repatriation.
Finally, in 2019 they signed the transfer agreement. On January 20, 2020, the stone got removed from Tiergarten Park. On April 16, the Kueka stone arrived on the shores of Venezuela, and on April 21, its home received it, the community of Santa Cruz de Mapauri in Bolivar state.