Caracas, June 9th 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – “Against the fascist right wing, there is only one way to emerge victorious: the power of the people,” President Nicolas Maduro said in an address before the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) in Caracas on Saturday afternoon.
In preparation for the 8 December municipal elections, in which 337 mayoral posts will be decided, Maduro indicated that the selection of candidates would be through a unitary method, integrating the numerous movements and left-wing parties that make up the GPP.
Founded in October 2011 the GPP includes organizations such as the United Socialist Party of Venezuela(PSUV), the Communist Party (PCV), and the Tupamaros, and originally aimed to help movements and collectives organize together at a national level. Until he passed away the GPP had not supported any candidates other than Hugo Chavez, and did not participate in the December 2012 regional elections.
Maduro led the assembly in an oath to “construct a great historical bloc to consolidate the anti-imperialist, socialist, and Chavista revolution” and to work “for the union, for the development of the political and social forces that bind together the majority of Venezuela.”
“Some like to take oaths with their hand over their heart, others with a closed fist in the air, but what's important is to take our oath in with the truth of our spirit,” he said.
Maduro also took the opportunity to address critics who had previously accused him of homophobia. Echoing the spokesperson of the LGBTI organization which attended the conference, Maduro emphasized that “the worst discriminator is he (sic) who denies his own nature, and thereby discriminates against himself.”
“As you know, the fascist [campaign strategist] J.J. Rendon, a public enemy of Venezuela, ran a campaign accusing me of being homophobic, but the truth is that our people cannot be homophobic, because we don't discriminate against anyone, especially against our LGBTI brothers and sisters, whom we welcome with dignity to work for our country,” he said, as supporters in the audience waved rainbow flags.
The gathering, which was open to the public and contained an estimated 9,000 supporters, also featured an address from GPP coordinator Blanca Eekhout, who received media attention when she claimed to be “preparing a jail cell” for Henrique Capriles after protests of the April 14 presidential elections resulted in 11 deaths. Capriles, the governor of Miranda state, lost the election to Maduro by a 1.5% margin.
“We are the activists of Chavez, of the future,” Eekhout said. “This revolution is only possible with the unity of our diverse groups, and what we have in common is a profound love for our country … We are privileged that our comandante [Chavez] has prevented a division, because he left a clear path. He left Nicolas Maduro as the leader of the homeland of Bolívar… of the Great Patriotic Pole.”
The event follows an assembly of the PSUV on Thursday, during which Maduro called for “unity” as a means of moving forward with the country’s Bolivarian process.