Mérida, October 12th 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s call for a renewed coalition of leftist political parties and social movements was praised on Monday by the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV). Chávez announced the rebirth of the Polo Patriótico, or Patriotic Pole, this past Sunday on his weekly television program Aló Presidente.
“As of today I am calling for – and I will be at the forefront of this battle – the formation of what was and what will now be even greater, more profound, more illuminating and true: the Patriotic Pole…We can not allow for sectarianism. The PSUV [the United Socialist Party of Venezuela] can not be everything, no, it is just one part,” Chavez stated.
The Patriotic Pole was first formed in 1998 as an electoral coalition that helped secure Chávez his first presidential victory. At that time, the Patriotic Pole included Chávez’s Movement for a Fifth Republic (MVR), the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), the Homeland for All Party (PPT), the Electoral People’s Party (MEP) and the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV). A year later, in 1999, the Patriotic Pole won 120 of 131 seats in the Venezuelan Constitutional Assembly.
The coalition was dissolved in 2000 when the PPT withdrew, citing disagreements over selecting candidates for that year’s election. Chávez’s MVR dissolved itself in 2006 as it prepared for the birth of the PSUV.
Venezolana de Television (VTV) reported on Monday that the purpose of the renewed Patriotic Pole is to unite political and social organizations that support the revolutionary process currently underway. This is said to include the PSUV, the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV), the Popular Unity Party (UPV) and the Electoral People’s Party (MEP), among others. In making his announcement on Sunday, Chávez said, “the solution goes much further than political parties”.
According to Oscar Figuera, general secretary of the Venezuelan Communist Party, the Patriotic Pole will be relaunched during a national meeting in which Chávez will meet with representatives of allied political parties, social movements and grassroots organizations.
Speaking to the press from PCV headquarters, Figuera expressed the PCV’s position that the Patriotic Pole will serve to consolidate a revolutionary praxis amongst organized and unorganized workers, rural workers, students and others.
“Political unity”, said Figuera, “is to be expressed where unity is so greatly needed, in social spaces such as the construction of socialist workers’ councils, community councils and communes; all as an exercise of revolutionary political power”.
This statement was reiterated by Héctor Rodríguez, national coordinator of the PSUV Youth, who described efforts underway to unite, “all sectors that coincide with the idea of a beautiful and humanist homeland, with an egalitarian society…We will work not just to construct an electoral bloc, but a general political bloc: we want this alliance to be reflected in all possible realms, in community-based struggles, in every space where people work and study”.
In announcing the renewal of the Patriotic Pole coalition, Chávez commented on its electoral importance: “You, the opposition, go about forming your coalition because we are going to confront each other and keep confronting each other, but in the 2012 [presidential elections] with the great Patriotic Pole, I take it upon myself to pulverize the antipatriotic and capitalist Pole”.