Mérida, 27th October 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The spokespeople of several chavista organisations have announced their affiliation to Marea Socialista (Socialist Tide), signaling the existence of a growing dissident left current in the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
Marea Socialista (MS) is a Trotskyist grouping within the PSUV which declares its support for President Nicolas Maduro’s administration. However the organisation opposes what it argues is the restriction of debate by party leadership over the direction of the Bolivarian project, and warns against the presence of corruption and what it sees as “conciliation” with business groups in economic planning.
In the context of the PSUV conference earlier this year and on-going economic problems including product shortages and 60% inflation, MS’s criticisms have become more vocal, arguing that a change of course is needed and evoking former president Hugo Chavez’s “strike at the helm” October 2012 speech.
Last Wednesday three chavista groupings, including the Hugo Chavez National Front and the Socialist Middle Class, announced their affiliation to MS and supported the organisation’s viewpoint on the need for a deep debate about the Bolivarian government’s policies and direction.
All the groups present said that they participated in the PSUV and had a national presence. While their overall membership is likely only a small minority of the PSUV’s activist base, the development will be seen as highlighting existing disquiet within chavista ranks.
“These are sums that add up,” said MS spokesperson Nicmer Evans, continuing, “Today we are ratifying the Strike at the Helm”.
Private and independent media were present at the press conference, but state run media did not attend.
Carlos Hurtado of the Socialist Middle Class grouping argued that Venezuelans were “suffering” as a result of high crime and the economic situation in the country, and claimed that the PSUV’s leadership was not engaging grassroots activists in a debate on how to resolve the problems and move forward.
“If they don’t call on us then we’re going to have to present a serious national proposal for the country’s management,” the activist said.
“We’re going to keep supporting Nicolas Maduro, but we need to start listening to each other or they [forces hostile to the Bolivarian project] are going to destroy this government,” he added, while also declaring that the activists present remained firmly opposed to the right-wing.