Venezuelan Governor Henry Falcón Resigns from Chavez’s United Socialist Party

Governor of Venezuela’s Lara state, Henry Falcón, confirmed his resignation from President Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela yesterday.
Lara state governor Henri Falcón (RNV/archive)

Caracas, February 22, 2010 ( – Governor of Venezuela’s Lara state, Henry Falcón, confirmed his resignation from President Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela yesterday. Via his Twitter account Falcón announced “my resignation is from the PSUV, not with the revolutionary process and my principles. My commitment is with the state of Lara.”

Falcón sent an open letter to President Chavez informing him of his decision to leave the PSUV arguing the party is infiltrated by “bureaucracy, an absence of discussion, clientelism, factionalism and a badly understood concept of loyalty.”

In his letter Falcon argued, “The relationship between a head of state, governors, and mayors cannot be limited to issuing instructions or orders without the slightest chance that we can compare views, discuss the pros and cons of certain initiatives and revise or revoke decisions [that are] harmful or inconvenient to the interests of the region or country.”

“I think I can contribute more to this process from other spaces in the ranks of Patria Para Todos, a movement whose action has been imbued with the spirit of the great Venezuelan, Alfredo Maneiro, and which I intend to formally ask about joining,” Falcón continued.

Chavez clashed recently with Falcón after it was reported that the state police under the control of the governor stood by as right-wing student opposition groups went on a violent rampage to protest the suspension of private television station RCTV. Falcón then invited the opposition groups to a “dialogue” meeting in the governor’s offices.

Falcón has also been heavily criticised by rank and file members of the PSUV for allegedly colluding with opposition sectors and business groups in Lara and attempting to prevent the popular former mayor of Carora municipality, Julio Chavez, from standing against him in the PSUV’s internal primaries in the lead up to the 2008 state and regional elections.

During the 2008 elections Falcón also created his own regional political party which stood candidates against the PSUV for the legislative assembly of Lara state.

In a comment piece, Acid Lines: The departure of Henri …… published on today, PSUV member Wolfgang Enrique argued that Falcón had tried to impose his own “personal project” on the PSUV in the state of Lara, and that by his decision to join the PPT, which is part of an alliance of pro-Chavez parties, the governor was “trying to present an image of not crossing the line, but his feet are already on the other side.”

Private media outlets in Venezuela have speculated about the possibility of Falcón standing as a possible candidate for the right-wing opposition against Chavez in the upcoming presidential elections in 2012.

And on February 4, anti-Chavez Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer argued, “To oust Chávez in 2012, Venezuela’s opposition will need to find an outsider, a local version of Nicaragua’s former President Violeta Chamorro, a widow whose children were on both sides of that country’s civil war in the 1980’s.”

“It could be somebody like Central University of Venezuela’s President Cecilia García Arocha, or Lara state Gov. Henry Falcon, or any other figure with a credible message of national reconciliation and economic recovery.” Oppenheimer wrote.