Paul Dobson Correo del Orinoco
Following Chavez’s call in December for “unity, unity, and unity”, a multitude of leftist parties threw their weight behind the Presidential candidature of Nicolas Maduro this week.
Maduro will go into the April 14th elections with the formal backing of 14 political parties, two more than Chavez had in October 2012.
Maduro’s own party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) was joined by its major allies, the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV), as well as others such as REDES, Tupamaro, MEP, PPT, and Podemos in backing Chavez’s political successor this week.
These parties, which conform the alliance ‘the Gran Patriotic Pole’ (GPP), proved vital to the electoral success of Chavez in October, and are expected to play a significant role in both campaigning and votes for Maduro.
In October, the opposition alliance (MUD), which consists of over a dozen parties gained 6.6 million votes in total, beating Chavez’s party, the PSUV, which achieved 6.4 million votes. However the 1.8 million votes of the other allied revolutionary parties proved vital to push Chavez over the winning line and guarantee the future of his government.
Of these 1.8 million votes in October, the vast majority came from the Communist Party (490,000), followed by PPT (220,000), REDES (198,000), MEP (185,000), and Tupamaro (170,000).
The PCV Communist Party called a National Conference last week which voted unanimously to back Maduro as their candidate. “With the strength of our people and of the revolutionary and popular organizations, Nicolas Maduro will be elected as the constitutional President”, proclaimed the General Secretary of the PCV, Oscar Figuera.
Maduro, accepting their backing at their conference, paid lengthy tribute to the struggle of the PCV as a revolutionary party, and thanked the communists for the hard work they put in in on the streets and in the communities.
Similarly, the Vice President of Podemos, Baudillo Reinoso, restated his party’s commitment with Maduro: “With Nicolas Maduro we will continue to advance and to improve the quality of lives of Venezuelans. We don’t just support him in words, but also in deeds”.
Adrian Paez, speaking on behalf of MEP, stated that “we won’t allow the opposition to take political power, we will give continuity to the Plan of the Nation and the Revolutionary Socialist Project”.
The leader of REDES, Juan Barreto, speaking at his party’s conference, made a call to back Maduro: “We should continue the struggle, because this is the best homage that we can give to our leader Hugo Chavez”.
The PCV also recognized the importance of the continuing of a wider alliance with other revolutionary forces, which will “give continuity and deepen the democratic, participative and progressive nature of the process of changes started in 1998 in Venezuela, it is necessary that we maintain and develop the alliance of diverse political and social factors”.
Recent polls have given Maduro a commanding lead ahead of April 14th, from between 14 and 18 percent. The latest, by private Venezuelan firm International Consulting Services, suggested Maduro was 17.7% ahead of his conservative rival. In October, Chavez defeated Capriles by 11% of the vote.
Editing and additional notes by Venezuelanalysis.com