Venezuela’s Communist Party Hints at Break with PSUV

The Communist Party of Venezuela says the PSUV’s electoral coalition, the GPP “doesn’t exist” anymore.

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The PSUV, PPT and REDES say they are forming a "program of joint struggle". (Contrapunto)
The PSUV, PPT and REDES say they are forming a "program of joint struggle". (Contrapunto)
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
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Puebla, Mexico, April 7, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – A group of left-wing Venezuelan parties met this week to discuss forming a new political platform, and possibly running against the PSUV.

The group includes the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), Homeland for All (PPT) and REDES. All three parties are members of the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), an electoral coalition led by the ruling socialist party, the PSUV. Traditionally, these parties have been allies of the PSUV, generally running on joint GPP tickets. However, that could soon change. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, representatives from the three parties declined to confirm whether they’ll run on their own joint ticket separate from the GPP in the next elections, though they didn’t rule out the option, either.

“We are discussing … a program of joint struggle,” said PPT head William Rodriguez.

The PCV was more openly critical of the GPP, with its Secretary General Oscar Figuera openly criticising the GPP for failing to meet for months.

When one reporter asked if the three parties were considering leaving the GPP entirely, Figuera responded, “No one can leave something that doesn’t exist.” The comment appeared to be a reference to the GPP’s long period without official meetings. The PCV has traditionally been among the PSUV’s closest electoral allies, though the relationship between the two parties has been strained in recent years.

Ties have only worsened since the government announced new requirements for political parties to remain legal, including a mandatory signature collection drive of all active party members. Critics have argued the new measure is designed to cull Venezuela’s smaller political parties. The PCV has refused to cooperate with the new requirements, and has vowed to take the issue to the Supreme Court.