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realclearworld

Reports from Cuba’s Venezuela: The PSUV’s non-election

By Rodrigo Linares in Caracas Chronicles:

The PSUV’s non-election

but not your voiceThe PSUV has delayed the election of its leadership now for three years. This has not been easy to swallow for party loyalists, particularly those who adamantly believe in “participatory democracy” but have been deceived by the idea that the national elections took precedence over democracy inside the party.

But as the governing party heads toward its first election in the post-Chávez era, many questions linger.

Now, this post comes with a confession: I am an Aporrea addict. I find the chavista grass-roots website endlessly appealing. I have always seen chavismo as a movement full of contradictions, and Aporrea is the place where you can contemplate this chaos in all its glory. It’s fitting, as this was a site founded by someone who self-defines as a “Startuper on a shoestring budget. Full stack developer w Ember.js Node.js MongoDB MySQL PHP Symfony. Woodworker, F1 fan, Incurable trotskyist & proud Venezolano”.

Aporrea was even forced to add Google Ads (the apostasy!) as it could no longer support itself financially, whether it’s in lechugas or bolivares. Say what you will, but Aporrea is the all-encompassing, all-welcoming site where all currents within Chavismo converge.

Well, all but its leadership, that is. If Aporrea is to be believed, there is a serious disagreement between las bases and the politburo. The cracks are showing, and the differences run deep.

The hot topic on Aporrea for the last few months has been the PSUV Congress, the convention where leadership positions will be decided and which will take place in a few days. Acitvists have been kept quiet with the threat of an election, while they are constantly reminded of the need for loyalty. The eagerness to voice their discontent, elect new representatives, and shift the party into a new direction is palpable.  This, of course, brings many questions. What direction will the PSUV take? Specially taking into consideration how diverse PSUV is. How will this event go forward now that the über-unifying and, more importantly, conflict-resolving comandate eterno is no longer?

Initially the PSUV Congress’ goal was to elect the Board of Directors. Chavez was the President, but he was also the party’s president, and no elections have been summoned ever since he died.

If you read the party’s statutes, it is unclear whether they even have to. There are no provisions for the president’s absence. Article 5 leaves open the door for any election method, something not everyone agrees on.

Continue reading HERE.

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