Chavez Calls for United Socialist Party of Venezuela

In an event to celebrate the successful reelection of President Chavez, Chavez called on his followers to dissolve their existing parties and to form a new “United Socialist Party of Venezuela.”

By Gregory Wilpert - Venezuelanalysis.com
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Caracas, December 18, 2006 (venezuelanalysis.com)— In an event to celebrate the successful reelection of President Chavez, Chavez called on his followers to dissolve their existing parties and to form a new “United Socialist Party of Venezuela.” Chavez also explained that the main project for the next term is to “construct socialism from below,” via this new party.

The celebration was held last Friday in the Teresa Carreño Theater, with the participation of Chavez’s campaign team, the Commando Miranda, and the supporters that had organized in neighborhoods for Chavez’s reelection.

According to Chavez, the plethora of parties that currently support his government are an obstacle to the creation of “21st century socialism.” “We need one party, not an alphabet soup with which we would be falling over each other in lies and cheating the people,” said Chavez.

Instead, a new single party is needed, which would provide a forum for debates because, “We should not imagine socialism as a state that we will reach some day by the art of magic,” said Chavez during the event, instead, “Socialism is a process of daily construction.”

Currently Chavez is being supported by a coalition of many parties, ranging from his own MVR party (Movement for the Fifth Republic), which has millions of supporters, to many smaller parties with a long history, such as the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), Fatherland For All (PPT), and We Can (PODEMOS). Also, there are numerous very small newer parties that support Chavez, such as Popular Venezuelan Unity, Tupamaros, Revolutionary Middle Class, and Union, among others.

While Chavez’s MVR obtained 41.7% of the total votes for president, Podemos, PPT, and PCV obtained 14.5% of the total vote. The remaining 7% of Chavez’s total of 62.9% support in the December 3rd election were divided among about 20 small parties.

Chavez explained that parties that do not wish to join this new single party would have to go their own way in the future. “Those parties that wish to preserve themselves, they will leave the government,” he said.

However, the existing campaign structure, which had organized supporters of all parties into 11,000 “battalions,” 32,800 “platoons,” and 3.8 million “squads” should be maintained as the grassroots organization for the new unity party.

This initial organization should serve not only for debating socialism, but also for nominating candidates to elected office. “Enough,” said Chavez, of the old method of selecting candidates, where the President or other high ranking officials nominated candidates from above.

As a name for the new unity party Chavez proposed “United Socialist Party of Venezuela,” which would have the acronym PSUV, but said he would also be open to other suggestions for the name.

Aside from the creation of a single party of the revolution and the construction of 21st century socialism, Chavez said that the other main issue for the coming year would be constitutional reform.

With regard to the construction of 21st century socialism, Chavez said, “The transformation of the economic model is fundamental if we want to construct a true socialism.” “We have barely begun visualizing all of this,” he added.

On other occasions Chavez has indicated that his government would examine all aspects of the constitution to see what needed to be changed so that it would be more in tune with the creation of socialism. Another change he has proposed is the elimination of the two-term limit for the president, so that he might be able to run again, in 2012. All such changes would be submitted to a popular referendum.

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