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Venezuela’s Opposition and Pro-Chavez Movements to March on 23 January

Merida, January 15th 2013 ( – Yesterday the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) announced that it will challenge opposition claims of “unconstitutionality” and march on the same day as they will next week. The governing party also announced that its candidates for upcoming mayoral elections will be “chosen by the bases”.

Following calls by the opposition for a protest this coming 23 January against the ruling by Venezuela’s Supreme Court that Chavez not swearing in on 10 January was constitutional, the PSUV, together with other parties and organisations such as the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) and The Bolivarian Socialist Central of Workers (CBST) have also called for a march that day in Caracas.

The PSUV is calling on members to come out to “defend the national constitution and the true democracy achieved during the government of President Hugo Chavez”.

One of the PSUV’s national leaders, Jorge Rodriguez told press yesterday that the march will start at four different locations in Caracas, and will end in the 23 de Enero barrio, where grassroots organisation is among the highest in Caracas.

23 January – the barrio’s name in English, and also the date of the opposition and pro-Chavez marches, is known as the ‘day of democracy’ in Venezuela because it marks the day in 1958 when a civic-military movement overthrew the Marcos Jimenez dictatorship.

The opposition has claimed that Chavez being unable to swear-in on 10 January as he recovers from surgery for cancer is “unconstitutional”.

Meanwhile, the national government has pointed out that the current opposition consists of many people who took part in the failed coup d’état attempt in 2002, and that it is the Chavista government and movement which has been building real democracy in the country.

Carlos Lopez of the CBST also announced an international conference of workers and unions called ‘Workers of the World with Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution’ to be held this April and to conclude with the 1 May march.

PSUV to consult its membership in choosing mayoral candidates

During the same press conference yesterday, Rodriguez also announced that the PSUV will “design a mechanism” to consult the bases and choose its candidates for the upcoming mayoral elections on 26 May.

In the state elections last December, the PSUV’s candidates were chosen by President Chavez and the national executive of the party.

Rodriguez said that in the meantime it was prohibited to suggest or promote candidates.

Published on Jan 15th 2013 at 7.02pm