Mérida, September 15, 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com)– Between September 11 and 13, approximately 1,400 youth delegates from all states of Venezuela met in Puerto Ordaz, Bolivar state, to construct the new organisation of the youth of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
The Founding Congress of the Youth of the PSUV (J-PSUV) discussed themes such as the role of the youth in the construction of socialism, the food and energy crises, the role of young people in national defence, the organizational structure of the J-PSUV, as well as the development of the revolution.
In a total of 47 working groups the delegates discussed the statutes of the J-PSUV and coming out of the debate, modified ten articles of the initial proposal.
The congress produced a political document titled "Document of Cariuachi," which outlines the new program of the youth and will soon be available in all the party branches.
The document refers to the objective of the youth of the PSUV to organize, form and incorporate the Venezuelan youth into militant revolutionaries, as well as to fight for the end of the exclusion, marginalization and discrimination that affects young people and to create spaces to promote equality, freedom, and active participation of all youth.
Also, the militant youth should be active in the struggle against corruption and bureaucracy and for the construction of socialism.
The document also specifies that racist, homophobic, sexist, or other expressions of contempt are incompatible with being a member of the J-PSUV and it is the responsibility of members to take on the integral defense of the country.
At least ten young people will form state leadership teams, with each team electing a spokesperson and substitute. Gender equality must be guaranteed with nominations and appointment of positions.
The National Youth team will be a permanent organ of the PSUV, and will be made up of 30 spokespeople, 27 of which will be chosen in national elections and 3 will be chosen by indigenous youth.
Hector Rodriguez, member of the national leadership of the PSUV and Minister of the Office of the Presidency, said that the changes made to the document deepen the internal democracy of the party and take on internal party discipline.
The congress also supported the decision of the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, to expel the United States Ambassador from the country. Regarding the plan to assassinate Chavez, more than 30 international delegates and youth leaders declared that they were not in agreement with the sabotage and destabilization occurring not just Venezuela but also in Paraguay, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
Delegates reported a lively, optimistic, and serious spirit at the congress. One of the most common chants was, "If shit goes down, we want guns!"
Carlos Bello, a delegate from the Municipality of Sucre in the state of Miranda, told Venezuelanalysis.com that he felt "the main achievement of the conference was indisputably the union and commitment of the Venezuelan youth to defend the country from imperialist aggression (and) the interest of the youth in participating in the construction of the homeland."
"The youth wing of the party is being born to strengthen its existing structure. [Now our task is to] work and study in order to construct a different society in which everyone has the opportunity to live with dignity, education, health, housing, and a better family with new values."
"This event was transcendental in the political history of Venezuela. For the first time a political party …has given a protagonistic role to youth elected by the popular bases, and who don't want anything other than to put an end to social injustice."
Daniel Briceno, delegate for San Jacinto Municipality, Merida state, told Venezuelanalysis.com that he thought the highlight of the conference was the approval by all working groups of the final document and that the main achievement was the articulation and organization of the youth within the PSUV.
"Now we have to take this information to the bases and have discussions so that the youth teams are informed of the regulations and can start to put them into motion," he said.
Hector Rodriguez, member of the PSUV leadership, called the congress a historical moment, as "today one of the biggest youth forces that we've had in the political history of Venezuela, was born."
Cesar Trompiz, another delegate at the conference said, "The youth have to believe that this country is ours, that the revolution is ours." He explained that before, the youth had been involved in the revolution in a voluntary way, where as now, "the work of the youth of the party is done in an organic, organized and directed manner. That is, with very clear objectives."
On his weekly Sunday program, "Alo Presidente," Chavez insisted that the PSUV candidates involve the youth in governmental management, should they become elected in the November 23 elections.
"It's necessary to give space to the youth because sometimes we say ‘no…they are immature'…(we should) be careful with such concepts," he said.
In the closing session of the congress he also said that the youth will be the grave diggers of the 4th Republic (the recent political period before Chavez from 1958) and the builders of the new era.
In July the PSUV leadership called on young people in the party to organize themselves into teams of 10 or more, corresponding to their branch. These teams elected a spokesperson, and the spokespeople then got together in their circumscription (consisting of approximately 10 branches) and elected their delegate to the congress.
Over 50% of Venezuelans are under 30.