This Thursday, the Kueka Stone (Abuela Kueka) arrived at the International Port of Guanta, Anzoátegui state, after a friendly agreement between Venezuela and Germany, for the repatriation of this symbol of the Pemón indigenous people, reported the Minister of Culture, Ernesto Villegas. “It is a historical milestone: after 21 years it has touched Venezuelan soil, the Kueka Stone, the sacred stone of the Pemón people in the Bolívar state, which has become the grandmother of all the indigenous people of the country and of all Venezuela, a product of these 21 years of struggle, especially of the grandparents and grandmothers, and also as a result of a commitment of the Bolivarian government,” he said.
La Kueka was declared a Natural World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in 1994.
Villegas explained that the repatriation of this cultural relic is a precedent that is a model for the rest of the nations, in respect to the Unesco Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods signed in 1970.
The stone, which was transferred to Germany more than two decades ago in order to be exhibited in the Tiergarten Metropolitan Park in the German capital, Berlin, was received by cultural, military and civil authorities of the National Executive, as well as by representatives of the Pemón indigenous people.
The Minister stressed that repatriation constitutes a consolidation and recognition of the memory of Commander Hugo Chávez, who from the beginning of his government pledged to make efforts to achieve the return of the stone.
Villegas also pointed out that the Federal government of Germany gave, in this case, signs of its good will to safeguard and repair the cultural rights of the peoples.
For his part, the member of the Pemón ethnic group, Melchor Flores, highlighted that “thanks to the resistance of the indigenous peoples, who resisted in the fight for the repatriation of the “Abuela Kueka,” the return of the cultural resource was consummated, which will be transferred to the Bolívar state.
In this regard, the commander of the Strategic Integral Defense Region (Redi) Oriental, César Méndez López, indicated that the Strategic Operational Command of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (Ceofanb) issued an operations order to escort and guard the stone to its site original in the Amazon jungle.
Similarly, the Minister of Popular Power of Indigenous Peoples, Aloha Núñez, added that this fact signifies an “achievement that was led by several roundtables” and dialogue through the “peace diplomacy” promoted by the National government, while specifying that the route of repatriation was more than 11 thousand kilometers from Berlin to Guanta.
*Later, the Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, reported from an event held in Caracas this April 17, the Kueka stone will begin its journey to the Bolívar state, “to receive the strength and energy of our ancestral indigenous people.”
President Maduro recognized and congratulated the efforts undertaken by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, the Venezuelan Ambassador to Germany, the Ministry of Popular Power for Culture and the Ministry of Popular Power for Indigenous Peoples for the recovery of “this invaluable spiritual, cultural and millennial relic of the indigenous peoples of the south and which comes today in the midst of this new battle.”
“The Kueka stone has arrived in Venezuela!”concluded the President from the “Aquiles Nazoa” Cultural House, where he commemorated the seventeenth anniversary of the Barrio Adentro Mission.
The Abuela Kueka or the Kueka Stone is a stone of red sandstone material of the Roraima type and Red quartzite (Jasper), 28 tons and 12 cubic meters in diameter.
It was granted in 1998, in violation of the Canaima National Park protection regulations, by the administration of former President Rafael Caldera and the management of the then Minister of the Environment, Héctor Hernández Mujica, to the German artist-merchant Wolfgang Kraker, Telesur reported.
This ancient symbol underwent several modifications to its natural structure, being appropriated, carved and put on display in the Berlin Metropolitan Park.
Translated by JRE/EF