Trotskyist Chavista collective, Marea Socialista (MS), has announced that it would be fielding its own candidates independent of the governing Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in this year's upcoming parliamentary elections.
Formerly a current within the PSUV, MS declared that it had already applied to the country's National Electoral Council for the right to its own candidate list and is currently awaiting the body's decision.
MS leader Nicomar Evans stated that the group's decision was motivated by the "necessity of a critical and self-critical vision" towards the revolutionary process in which "critiques can be formulated and the course corrected".
In this vein, he indicated that MS candidates must be committed to realizing "a public citizen's audit in order to detect fraudulent elements in the allotment of dollars," referring to widespread fraud among private firms, who pocket government-issued preferential dollars and change them on the booming black market, in lieu of importing essential items.
Evans has long criticized government inaction in the face of massive import fraud, which has cost the country billions in public funds, calling for MS candidates to rejuvenate the revolutionary process with new ideas.
In contrast to both the Venezuelan opposition, which requires its candidates to pay the equivalent of roughly 22 monthly minimum wages, and the PSUV, "which established age and sex requirements", MS demands that its candidates have a "profile of ideas concerning the role of a revolutionary chavista legislator in relation to the struggle against corruption and economic measures".
Last month, the grassroots assemblies of the PSUV concluded their process of choosing candidates for internal primaries at the end of May, of whom half are youth under 30 and 60% are women.
The right wing press has characterized MS' decision to opt for its own parliamentary candidates a rejection of President Nicolas Maduro and a schism within the ranks of Chavismo.
However, MS has denied these assertions, reaffirming its support for the socialist leader and emphasizing that "all [of its members] are social fighters and defenders of the Revolution".
Evans further clarified that his collective's decision to present its own candidates did not preclude support for those of the PSUV.
"If there are candidates within the revolutionary process that are capable of assuming the commitment that we are proposing as a profile, the grassroots of Marea Socialista could support them."
Nonetheless, "if we don't find any [candidates within the PSUV] then we will be looking for them not only within the ranks of Marea [Socialista], but also among the social movements,” he added.