Venezuela’s Communists, are having a “bob each way”. Rather than dissolve their party into President Chavez’s United Socialist Party, the Communist Party has resolved to stay intact, at least for now.
This is smart tactics-individual communists will join the new mass party. They will probably become the dominating influence, very quickly, but retain their own structure. They will also no doubt recruit heavily from the new party.
Leninism at work-by retaining their own party, the Communists will have the best of both worlds. They will enjoy all the leverage a mass party will bring, while maintaining their own decision making power.
RIO CHICO, Venezuela: It shares the Marxist ideals espoused by President Hugo Chavez, but Venezuela’s Communist Party is resisting his call to fold dozens of allied political organizations into a single party.
At a meeting Sunday to decide their political fate, many communists said they fully support Chavez but aren’t ready to relinquish their 76-year history as an independent party.
The leftist Chavez has already disbanded his own party, the Fifth Republic Movement, to make way for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, which is to replace a long list of pro-Chavez parties. While most parties have swiftly agreed, the Communist Party and a second pro-Chavez party, Podemos, have been holdouts.
“We accept President Chavez’s invitation to participate in the common effort of creating a new party,” Carrera said. “We have decided to wait a bit for now before deciding definitively and categorically on our inclusion or not.”
“We have always been a working-class party, and if we join the single party, we would lose that because it would be a party representing all social classes,” Carrera said in an interview last week at the party headquarters in Caracas, where portraits of communist icons Vladimir Lenin and Ho Chi Minh hang on the walls.
Carrera has said he sees the solution being for party members to decide on a personal basis whether to join Chavez’s new party.
Although the Communist Party is relatively small, its popularity has surged since Chavez was first elected in 1998.
Hundreds of party members have been elected to municipal councils, nearly a dozen Communist lawmakers sit in the entirely pro-Chavez National Assembly and more young blood is constantly pumped into the movement through the Communist Youth, the party’s youth wing.
Regardless of what the Communist Party ultimately decides, many party members said they plan to contribute in developing what Chavez calls a new “21st century socialism.”