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 - L
etters to the public - April 20, 2003
 - Constitution of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
requiring "prior approval" from Dept. of Interior

The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians Seeks Solidarity in Venezuela

                                                       El Nacional Thursday December 26, 2000

A group representing the Miccosukee Indians of Florida will soon come to Venezuela in search of solidarity in the fight for the defense of their rights as a native community, that they consider violated by the authorities of the State of Florida and United States Federal Government, according to information given in Miami by the chief of the tribe, Billy Cypress and lawyers, Michael Diaz and Juan Vargas. (Emphasis added)

This initiative of the Miccosukee Tribe is inspired by the norms contained in the Bolivian Constitution, which establishes that “ The State will recognize the existence of towns and indigenous communities, its social organization, political and economical, its cultures, uses and customs, languages and religions, as well as its habitat and original rights on the lands that they ancestrally and traditionally occupy”.

That principle is also captured in the juridical classification of the United States, even in emanated decisions of the Supreme Court of that country, and on that base is established the autonomy and sovereignty of the Indigenous communities. As for the specific situation of the Miccosukee Tribe, the right to apply their tribal laws and to establish their jurisdictional organization in the process of administration of justice is recognized, so that they solve inherent matters to the community, in accordance with their heritage, ethnic and cultural identity.

To ignore the decisions of the organs of tribal justice and their laws, besides forcing the autonomy of the indigenous communities, it harms the members of these communities the right of being judged by their natural judges, the right unless judged by the same cause, the right to the defense and the due process of justice.

Even more, since the sixties, his tribe possesses the recognition of its belligerency and sovereignty from the Cuban Government, through Fidel Castro who has received them in several occasions.  They assured and hoped that the country of Venezuela and specifically the indigenous community support the actions of the Tribe.
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