Caracas, May 22, 2023 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) has pointed the finger at the leadership of the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) for an alleged attempt to “hijack” the organization.
“The PSUV leadership wants to take away the PCV’s legal status to neutralize its role in the country’s social struggles,” Communist Party Secretary General Óscar Figuera said in a press conference on Saturday.
The leftist political party has taken aim at a self-styled “movement” that calls itself “Patriotic PCV” and claims its goal is to “rescue” the organization. The movement argues that the present communist leadership is disconnected from its bases and should be supporting the Nicolás Maduro government.
The PCV has claimed that the “Patriotic PCV” is funded by the PSUV and contains no communist activists. It denounced a “fake congress” held on Sunday in Caracas, stating that the figures who led the activity have no connection to the party. They included members of other Venezuelan political groups and alleged PSUV activists from Monagas state.
The PCV has likewise pointed to Diosdado Cabello’s involvement due to the PSUV Vice President’s reiterated statements against the organization on his weekly TV program. A voice message leaked online recently allegedly had fellow high-ranking PSUV member Jesús Faría instruct followers to continue finding possible members for the “alternative” PCV.
Though there has been no official statement of intent, analysts claim that the goal of the “Patriotic PCV” initiative is to file an injunction before judicial authorities to demand possession of the PCV’s legal and electoral credentials. In such a scenario, the Communist Party would be barred from fielding its own candidate in the 2024 presidential elections.
“Regardless of what happens in the courts or in the Electoral Council, the PCV is here to stay,” Figuera added in his address. The Communist Party ratified its current central committee and political program in its November 2022 congress.
The situation surrounding Venezuela’s oldest political party has sparked debates and controversy on social media. It has also drawn solidarity statements from a number of communist and workers’ parties around the world.
High-profile Chavista commentator Luigino Bracci published a video decrying the “dreadful” attack led by a “sector of the PSUV” against the PCV. He likewise criticized the alleged use of public resources for the “Patriotic PCV” activities, some of which have taken place in five-star hotel conference rooms. While clarifying that he belongs to neither political group, Bracci urged the PSUV and PCV leaders to “sit down and discuss solutions” to favor the Venezuelan people.
The Venezuelan Communist Party participated for many years in the PSUV-led Great Patriotic Pole that submitted unified lists in electoral contests. It supported Maduro in both of his presidential victories, the most recent of which was in May 2018, when the PCV and the PSUV signed an agreement establishing a number of policy priorities.
However, in subsequent months, the PCV denounced that the government was not fulfilling the deal and refused to hear the party’s demands.
With the Maduro government adopting liberal policies in an attempt to kickstart the economy under heavy US sanctions, the Venezuelan communists have grown increasingly critical, deeming the measures as “anti-worker” and favoring capital.
In 2020, the PCV decided to field independent candidates for the legislative elections under the so-called Popular Revolutionary Alternative (APR) but managed less than 3 percent of the vote and only secured one deputy in the National Assembly.
The PCV-led alliance ran again in the 2021 regional and local “mega-elections” only to achieve similar underwhelming results. The APR accused electoral authorities of bias and persecution after a number of its candidates were barred from running.
The APR originally included other Chavista parties such as Homeland for All (PPT) and Tupamaro before internal disputes were taken to the Venezuelan Supreme Court, which granted the parties’ control and electoral credentials to factions that favored remaining in an alliance with the PSUV. However, unlike in the present PCV controversy, those challenges were brought forward by high-profile activists in their respective parties.