Why Danny Glover continues to support Venezuela

Danny Glover and Voza Rivers/Copyright: Mel Wright Photography
Danny Glover and Voza Rivers/Copyright: Mel Wright Photography

You can’t tell, Danny Glover who he can talk to. That’s the gist of what the critically acclaimed actor said during an interview at Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre’s 44th anniversary gala in New York City this past weekend. Glover has continued to support the Venezuelan government despite the country’s tense relationship with the U.S., and current violent political crisis.

If you ask him why he does it, it’s largely because of Venezuela’s Afro-descendant population. During the trans-Atlantic slave trade an estimated 100,000 enslaved Africans were transported to Venezuela. More than a century later, racism and marginalization in the education, economic and political fronts remain challenges for the estimated 20-30 percent of Afro-descendants in Venezuela. A 2012 embassy report highlighted recent efforts made by the country to address these inequities including the Law Against Racial Discrimination (2011), establishing a council to represent Afro-descendant communities (2012), and inclusion of Afro-descendants in the census (2011). Because of these initiatives, Glover refuses to change his political position. 

“The first time I came to Venezuela on our agenda was to talk about Haiti and how Afro-descendants were functioning in this reconstruction of democracy,” he said. “If people are trying to overthrow their president, maybe he’s doing something on behalf of the people and maybe those who have real power have to pay attention.”

Besides President Maduro of Venezuela, Glover is also a firm supporter of Voza Rivers, who was honored at the NFT gala.

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