United Socialist Party of Venezuela Launches Electoral Campaign

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) officially launched its campaign for regional and municipal elections of November 23 on Tuesday.
Supporters of President Chavez gather outside the presidential palace to launch the campaign for the Nov. 23rd mayoral and gubernatoral elections. (ABN)

Mérida, September 24, 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com)– The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) officially launched its campaign for regional and municipal elections of November 23 on Tuesday.

The campaign start was launched with a range of events across the country.

At 4 in the afternoon on Monday, the candidates for the state of Miranda and Caracas participated in an event in the Plaza Brion.

Diosdado Cabello, candidate for Miranda in a speech at the event, emphasized the importance of the victory of PSUV candidates in order to maintain the revolution. He argued that the opposition only seeks to win in order to topple Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, and not to govern. He referred to the regional electoral process as a "great democratic party [fiesta]."

At 5 in the morning on Tuesday there was cannon shot and playing of the "Diana" – a bugle wake-up call-in Caracas and other areas of the country, to announce the start of the campaign. The Diana is also played on election days, to wake the population and encourage them to vote and is symbolic of the battle of Santa Ines, an important battle in Venezuelan history.

In the state of Nueva Esparta, the campaign was launched with a maritime crossing that included fishermen and fisherwomen of the region. The route concluded with popular songs and other local artistic expression with the aim that the electoral campaign also be used to re-appreciate Nueva Espartan folklore.

Candidates for the state were sworn in, in front of the image of Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan independence leader, in the main plaza. They swore to combat imperialism, to go with Chavez, contribute to the construction of a new society, follow revolutionary ideology and work for the unity of the people responsibly.

Today and tomorrow there will be demonstrations in various parts of the state.

In Merida a Political Command of the Alliance was formed on Wednesday to integrate all the political organisations that support the revolutionary process, including the PSUV, the PPT (Homeland for All Party), the PCV (Communist party of Venezuela) and others. There will be a automobile caravan and fireworks on Friday.

As part of the state of Lara's campaign launch, the candidate for governor, Henri Falcon Fuentes, announced the start of a consultative process in the communities for the government's revolutionary program that would be implemented during the period of 2008-12.

He said the communities should determine the priorities and that "the idea of the program of the government is that it can be taken on by the communities themselves."

The state of Barinas has a week of activities planned, including demonstrations, walks, meetings, and a large party in the main baseball stadium.

Similarly, the state of Tachira has organised caravans, demonstrations, fireworks, cultural events, inauguration of government works and other events.

On Saturday the PSUV held a ‘day of salary for the revolution' to raise money for its electoral campaign, with members and supporters donating on that day and all week. In the first three days Bs. 2 million (US$900,000) were raised.

The National Electoral Council (CNE) declared the official start of the election campaign period to have begun at midnight on Tuesday, exactly two months before the elections.

The president of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena, called for a clean campaign, with respect and devotion to the electoral rules of propaganda and publicity. She announced that of the total candidates, 50.25% were male and 49.75% female.

603 mayoral, gubernatorial, and state legislative positions across Venezuela will be contested in the elections on November 23.