Barbadian artist, David “Guru” McClean and the sculpture of Afro-Venezuelan hero, Pedro Camejo. (F. Belgrave/BGIS)

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture, John King, has compared the contribution of Afro-Venezuelan hero, Pedro Camejo, to that of Bussa, one of Barbados’ National Heroes.

He was speaking at the unveiling of a sculpture of Mr. Camejo, who is also referred to as Negro Primero, at the National Library Service’s headquarters.  It was on the occasion of the 210th Anniversary of Venezuela’s Independence.

Minister King, in his address, stated: “One of Venezuela’s most revered freedom fighters, Negro Primero, in his quest for the liberation of Venezuela, can be likened to our own freedom fighter and national hero, The Right Excellent Bussa.  They both were enslaved African men in foreign lands who died in battle, not only for their freedom, but that of their fellow enslaved.”

Mr. King added that it was events, such as the mounting of the sculpture, that deepen the relationship between countries like Venezuela and Barbados. 

“Art and culture are two wonderful ways of preserving or strengthening a community’s sense of place; forging a personal identity, and showcasing our creativity.  It also has the ability to break down barriers and build strong and lasting friendships that transcend generations.”

The sculpture was created by Barbadian artist, David “Guru” McClean, who will be representing Barbados in the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of South America. 

Describing the late national hero, Mr. McClean stated: “He was fierce with his lance. He fought and killed many an enemy.”

Mr. McClean was referring to the Battle of Carabobo on June 24, 1821, in which Negro Primero fought and died.  That battle was led by General Simon Bolivar, the great Venezuelan Liberator.

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