Venezuela: Chavez launches campaign to form party

In front of more than 2000 "promoters" for the Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) on March 24, President Hugo Chavez called for all the political parties that support him to unite behind the new party. These "promoters" will carry out the first stage in the formation of a united pro-government party by the end of the year. Chavez emphasised that a united party is vital for the success of the Bolivarian revolutionary process.

During this first meeting of more than 2000 promoters, Chavez said that they were beginning a new phase of the process and warned that the "deepening of the revolution is going to sharpen the contradictions", both on a national and international level. For this reason, he explained, the formation of a strong party is urgent "because we are not going to stop the revolution".

The event was the first step in moving toward the formation of a united socialist party in Venezuela. The objective behind the new party's formation is ending sectarian and bureaucratic politics that have plagued the pro-government coalition, according to the president. The promoters are supposed to spread throughout the country to register all those who wish to join the new party. This registry will then be used as a basis for electing delegates to the first party congress, which is to be held in August and which will work on the party program and bylaws.

Chavez invited those political parties that support the Bolivarian process, such as the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), Podemos, and Homeland For All (PPT), to join forces with all pro-Chavez forces to form the revolutionary socialist party. He assured people that the new party will be completely democratic and humanistic, but warned that those parties that decide to stay out of the party would end up victims of "reformism" or "dogmatism".

Chavez said that some of the political leaders of these parties have frustrated him with their opposition to his call for unity, and he asked them to reflect on their decision. Recently, leaders of PCV, Podemos and PPT expressed reservations about joining the PSUV because they want to wait and see the new party's program and bylaws before dissolving themselves.

"Despite these criticisms, I recognise the contribution of all these parties in many of the popular battles that have taken place in Venezuela in the '60s, '70s, and '80s", said Chavez. "I hold them in high esteem, and the people do too, but the time has come for unity", he insisted.

Chavez also emphasised the importance of unity in the light of international threats to the revolution. Referring to new economic agreements with China, Chavez warned that the new plans will "sharpen the conflict" with the United States, which "hasn't lost hope that Venezuela will once again be a colony. They are concerned about these agreements, and therefore the attacks are going to get worse."

Chavez said there are new plans for his assassination, or a coup d'etat, in order to destabilise the country and allow for a US intervention, either directly or through international organisations. US President George W. Bush is now "more dangerous than ever", according to Chávez. "They only have two years left and they are capable of anything", he said, referring to the 2008 expiry of Bush's presidential term.

But as long as the majority of the Venezuelan people strongly back the government, united behind a new party, all attempts to destabilise the country are destined to fail, he insisted.

According to Chavez, the PSUV will be the centre of national politics and will serve to strengthen the Bolivarian project, both nationally and internationally.

[Reprinted from]


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