Representatives of more than 30,000 groups held a historic Popular Assembly in Caracas on June 9 to reinvigorate the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), which united the governing United Socialist Party of venezuela (PSUV) with pro-revolution political parties and socioal movement groups.
The assembly was held to discuss the future of the revolutionary alliance, and specifically the question of unified candidates for the upcoming municipal elections in December.
The assembly bought together representatives from the 11 parties that form the alliance, as well as thousands of collectives representing women’s rights groups, disabled groupings, environmental collectives, student groups, collectives of sexual diversity, of trade unions, communal councils, and cultural groupings amongst many others.
The Poliedro in Caracas, which was full to bursting, heard the contribution of President Nicolas Maduro, who reiterated Chavez’s call for “unity” by highlighting the importance of the GPP in the strengthening of the revolution.
He called on the diverse members to “fulfill their role in constructing a historic bloc of the Bolivarian Revolution”.
With respects to the upcoming elections, he stated that “I can see the 8th December being the grave of the fascist right. What a beautiful opportunity we have!”
From the assembly certain concrete measures were approved. Among the most important was the creation of two permanent seats for representatives of the GPP in the Council of State, which exists as an advisory body to support the Head of State, and brings together representatives of the elected Governors, the National Assembly, and the Supreme Court.
Furthermore, the GPP agreed to push for unified candidates between the dominant PSUV party and the other smaller allied parties for the upcoming elections.
Also, it agreed to call for regional assemblies in the next month in preparation for a National Patriotic Assembly of the GPP, which was fixed for July 24.
GPP national coordinator and representative of the Communist party (PCV), Yul Jabour, stressed the importance of collectivity: “the theme of the collective construction of policies allows that the distinct factors, the political parties and the GPP, can participate and debate these policies in a conscientious way, so that we move from a mandate of just the Executive or Government to one of collective leadership”.
Regarding July’s National Patriotic Assembly, Jabour explained that this “will be a great meeting where all of the factors are concentrated to discuss the strategies which we will take for the upcoming elections”.
Joint coordinator and PSUV representative Blanca Eekhout called on all sectors to activate themselves in support of the revolution: “workers, peasants, students, Afro-Americans, housewives, everyone, we should work in alliance”.
“We must have the consciousness to maintain unity despite our differences, despite our proper contradictions. This revolution is only possible through the unity of the diversity, but we all have something in common, we are workers of Bolivar, sons and daughters of Chavez … the flame, the sacred fire has become continental. We have lived the revolution of a people, we have a motherland, and we are all working for its defense” she passionately stated.
PCV General Secretary Oscar Figuera said the Assembly was “for us, a transcendental act of immense importance … from the perspective of the Communist Party, this is a qualitative leap in the construction of a political, social, anti-imperialist instrument, of unity”.
Secretary of the Tupamaro party, Jose Pinto, highlighted the increasing maturity of the GPP: “We are working to strengthen it. If differences arise, today there is the political maturity to overcome them. We must advance towards the construction of a new correlation of forces, and maintain the revolutionary watchfulness, criticism, and auto-criticism”.
For his part, Juan Barreto, President of Redes party, explained the proposed distribution of candidatures for the upcoming elections between the giant PSUV party and the other parties which support the revolution: “Let’s hope we can find unified candidatures in 80% of the country. Let’s hope no one gets funny, no one is sectarian, rather loyal to the project, and shows the generosity that should exist between revolutionaries.
“Historically in electoral terms we have evolved about 30, 35% of the votes for the GPP, and 65, 70% for the PSUV … the idea is that the other parties, we are 11, can resolve in cordial terms the 30% of the municipalities which are in play, because they are 335 in total, meaning that the PSUV will have 220 and the GPP 115, which will give equilibrium to the forces of Chavismo”.
He also highlighted that potential candidates should be community leaders of revolutionary standing: “let’s hope that this earthquake which we must produce gives privilege to community leaders, of concrete social organizations, which don’t try to occupy roles just to occupy them, rather that those who come to occupy these roles understand that power isn’t there to be concentrated, but rather distributed to the people so that they can take charge.”