Communists join Venezuelan Socialists in Maduro re-election bid
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro waves the red rooster flag of the Communist Party of Venezuela at a unity meeting in Caracas. | PCV

The Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) held its 14th National Conference February 17-18 in Caracas. One task of the conference was to select the party’s candidate for the Venezuelan presidency. Elections are set for April 22, 2018. Rather than putting forward its own nominee, the PCV announced it’s backing of President Nicolas Maduro for re-election.

The party based its decision on a “unity agreement between the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) and PCV,” which hadn’t yet been signed by both parties. The PCV defined the agreement’s overall purpose as enabling collaboration in “confronting Venezuela’s crisis of a capitalism that is dependent and grasping.” A party statement promised “political and socio-economic actions that are anti-imperialist, patriotic, and responsive to the people.”

The party resolved also that in case the “unity agreement of the PSUV and PCV was not achieved, there would be a new session of the 14th National Conference” to decide on an alternative presidential candidate.

The PCV did stage another session of the Party Conference on February 26. President Maduro attended, declaring that, “I accept the nomination of the Red Rooster (symbol of the PCV).” The party’s flag was delivered into his hands.

Agreement is signed

The second order of business that day was the signing of the agreement between the two political parties. Jorge Rodríguez and Aristóbulo Istúriz signed for the PSUV and members of the PCV Political Bureau signed for their party. President Maduro also signed.

Maduro observed that, “Together we have worked out a document together that sets out a good part of the map for moving into the years ahead—with agreements and disagreements, criticism and self-criticism. But above all, it puts together proposals for how we are going to advance.”

The report on the Correo del Orinoco website pointed out that, “It was the first time in the history of the Bolivarian revolution that an agreed-upon and signed document has been fashioned as a commitment for ‘moving beyond the present era and building the future.’”

For PCV Secretary-General Oscar Figuero, the agreement signified “a ‘qualitative leap’ in political relations in these times of interventionist threats.”

Figuero added that, “We are disposed to put our own skin, life, and our very existence into play as we defend the interests of the working class, working people, and the Venezuelan nation. The homeland will not be sold out but will be defended. … We are taking a decision to reorganize our people, to unify them in defense of the homeland and of our sovereignty.”

Figuero told President Maduro that the “solution to the crisis of the Venezuela’s capitalist profit-taking model is nationalization of the financial and banking sector so that not one more dollar is handed over to the capitalists – and nationalization too of commercial and industrial sectors acting as monopolies within the economy.”

The agreement itself

The various provisions of the agreement appear below in a translation covering the main points, which are:   

1.) “The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), heirs of the legacy of Simon Bolivar and the Venezuelan people in their aspirations for independence, sovereign development, and Latin American integration, subscribe to this PROGRAMATIC UNITY AGREEMENT. Their shared commitment is to implement all parts of it. They do so understanding that the growing, immoral, illegal and criminal interventionist aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism and its European allies against Venezuela threatens the perspective of national liberation energized by the people’s victory in the presidential elections of 1998 led by Commander and President Hugo Chavez. Their aggression poses danger to our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

2.) “The PSUV and the PCV before the world denounce imperialism that insists on creating an artificial construct against our country through multilateral entities in order to justify international intervention. It does so through the U.S. government and with the groveling complicity of Latin American governments and of Venezuela’s extreme right. ….

3.) “We of the PSUV and PCV make it known that the crisis of Venezuela’s dependent and plundering capitalism has led to grave consequences affecting the quality of life of our people, especially their ability to buy things and supply themselves with goods and services. We see actions and measures taken by imperialism and its national agents as aggravating this situation. They potentiate public and private corruption, bureaucracy, and capital flight…”

4.) “We of the PSUV and PCV assume that the solution to the current capitalist crisis must not favor the bourgeoisie and the trans-nationals but, instead, must favor the interests of the people. We are searching a new productive model, one based not on profit, but instead on sovereign development with participation by workers, small farmers, people’s organizations, and communes. These make up a broad anti-imperialist front that will advance organically in the building of a collective, unified leadership of political, social, patriotic and revolutionary organizations. They will proceed with analysis, construction, and coordination of political actions and of governmental operations.”

5.) The magnitude and seriousness of the existing situation and the sharpening of class struggle at the national and International levels calls for prompt, strengthened action along economic, political and social lines. In the process, we’ll have to prioritize urgent measures attending to people’s food and health care needs. We will consolidate these beginning with the victory of patriotic forces in the next presidential elections.”

The agreement turns next to the “Rights of the Working Class and Working People.”

6.) “We of the PSUV and PCV emphasize the importance of strengthening class-based unionism and the varied expressions of the revolutionary workers’ movement, particularly workers’ production councils and workers’ socialist councils ….”

7.) “Taking into account the sharpening of the capitalist crisis affecting broad sectors of the working class, we stress the importance of strengthening and protecting labor rights, employment, and also broadening the politics of new employees.”

8.) “Inside the government and also socio-political spaces, and depending on the scope and characteristics of each organization, the PSUV and PCV will work jointly to identify and channel the restitution of rights that workers are lacking, both in established cases and in cases yet to show up in public and private work places.”

9.) The two parties will take “necessary corrective action in response to denunciations of the activities of certain political office holders.”

10.) They will “decisively move toward restoring the chain of production of nationalized companies, which must be re-strengthened. The same goes with the phenomena of dismantling and deterioration which can lead to paralysis harmful to the development of national production….”

11.) “The experience of worker control will be re-evaluated for the sake of establishing a new model of leadership and management of state companies …”

12.) The agreement calls for “….expedited protection of social and economic rights, particularly those of wage-earners, retirees, and small businesses using banking services. “

13.) “We consider it urgent to adopt or deepen measures directed at taking down the power of private monopolies… with exemplary punishment of speculators, Mafiosi, and corrupt operators…”

14.) The parties recognize the “status of formal employment as deserving of rights and of recognition as an activity lending dignity to human beings.” They call for increasing and restoring salaries.

The agreement included additional “Measures for which there needs to be in-depth analysis,” among them:

15.) “The two parties will meet periodically to analyze strategic proposals made by the PCV contributing to favorable development of plans and policies of both state and government and proceeding from ideas that may benefit the people and the cause of national liberation.” The proposals cover “banking and financial policies, foreign trade, taxes and public finance.”

16.) Under the heading of “Strengthening political and organizing action” are these considerations: A. The two parties will hold meetings every month to maintain follow-up of regional and municipal initiatives; B. International relations will be strengthened, particularly efforts promoting solidarity with Venezuela and the Bolivarian process; C. Support is guaranteed for manufacturing and agricultural projects, especially ones involving peasant and communal movements; D. The labor movement will be strengthened; E. The parties will enhance media capabilities serving the two parties and the workers’ and people’s movements; F. They promise to build their alliance through strengthened electoral work at the national, regional and municipals levels.

17.) “The PCV … will promote the candidacy of compatriot Nicolás Maduro Moros … for which we will work together toward achieving an overwhelming victory on April 22, 2018, and without detracting from the autonomy of either organization.”

18.) “We commit both of our organizations to work at dissemination of this PSUV – PCV Programmatic Unity Agreement.


W. T. Whitney Jr.
W. T. Whitney Jr.

W.T. Whitney Jr. is a political journalist whose focus is on Latin America, health care, and anti-racism. A Cuba solidarity activist, he formerly worked as a pediatrician, lives in rural Maine.