Venezuela: Communist Party backs Hugo Chavez, builds workers' control movement
By Rachael Boothroyd, Coro
August 10, 2011 -- Venezuelanalysis.com – On August 7, the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) concluded its 14th congress in Caracas following three days of discussions. More than 526 national delegates and 43 international representatives attended the conference, which was convened in conjunction with the PCV’s 74th anniversary.
Issues on the agenda included leadership, the 2012 presidential elections, an assessment of the Bolivarian revolution’s progression to date and the creation of the “Patriotic Pole” – a coalition of pro-Chávez political forces. Carolus Wimmer, PCV secretary of foreign relations, stated that the conference would be influential in determining the party’s “new national direction”.
“The PCV must adapt its structure to the historical moment. We have 80 years of history and the recognition of the Venezuelan people; that is why we exist, if it were any other way, we would just be a sect”, said Wimmer.
In a brief telephone call to the congress, Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez thanked the PCV for its “constant support”. “Our alliance is much more than conjectural, it is a historical necessity which we have to keep building... The path [towards socialism] is full of contradictions and dilemmas, but it is the path; we are heading towards a new hegemony”, remarked the president, who was confirmed as the PCV’s official candidate for the 2012 presidential elections.
On August 5, delegates split into working groups in order to discuss documents issued from the central committee, which were then addressed and debated on the afternoons of August 6 and7.
During the congress, the president of the National Assembly, Fernando Soto Rojas, stated that it was necessary to create a new international financial system that was not dependent on the US dollar. The head of the legislative body called for an urgent international debate on the subject, particularly amongst Latin American nations and other states such as Iran and Russia.
One of the issues consistently addressed throughout the conference was that of workers’ control. Since 2003, the PCV has been working with the workers’ control movement to get a new and revolutionary work law passed through the National Assembly. In July, more than 2000 workers marched to the National Assembly and handed over 45,000 signatures demanding new legislation and increased workers' empowerment.
“Without a conscious working class, there will be no socialism”, said Oscar Figuera, president of the PCV, who also stressed the need to work in unison with the communal councils and peasant activists.
“The opposition are killing each other to choose a candidate, we’re debating how to deepen the revolution because we already have a candidate, and his name is Hugo Chávez Frías”, continued Figueras.
In concluding the congress, the PCV reiterated its commitment to the workers’ struggle for a “new and revolutionary labour law”, the creation of socialist workers' councils and the need to advance a “popular revolutionary consciousness”.
The party also affirmed the importance of creating the “Patriotic Pole” as an important step to creating unity and breaking free from the “chains of imperialism”. Elections for the central committee saw more than 40% of its membership occupied by new representatives – mostly from the communist youth and workers’ movements. Oscar Figuera was re-elected as party leader.