United Socialist Party of Venezuela

Published 3rd September, 2012

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela or PSUV was founded in March 2007 by Hugo Chávez as the successor to his Fifth Republic Movement. The party describes itself as left wing and believes in Democratic socialism, Bolivarianism and Socialism of the 21st century.

The Movement of the Fifth Republic (MVR) (also called the Fifth Republic Movement) was founded by Hugo Chávez in 1997 to introduce his Bolivarian revolution to the country. He was successful in winning the 1998 presidential election, taking 56.2% of the vote, although his party came second to Democratic Action in the Chamber of Deputies and Senate.

The first move of the new president was to make constitutional changes which were approved in a 1999 referendum and which led to a further election in 2000. In the 2000 elections Hugo Chávez managed to increase his percentage of the vote to 59.76%. His MVR was also able to dominate the new unicameral National Assembly with 91 of the 165 seats and thus giving him the majority he needed to pass his further reforms.

In 2006 Chávez was successful once more in the presidential election, taking 62.84% of the vote. In the previous year his party had increased their tally in the National Assembly, taking 116 of the 167 seats.

After the presidential election in 2006 President Chávez decided that he wanted to bring a number of parties into a new party which supported the Bolivarian Revolution. In March 2007 he started the process and in total eleven parties, including the MVR merged to form the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Those parties were:

Fifth Republic Movement (MVR)
People’s Electoral Movement (MEP)
Everybody Wins Independent Movement (MIGATO)
Venezuelan Popular Unity (UPV)
Revolutionary Movement Tupamaro (MRT)
Socialist League (LS)
Movement for Direct Democracy (MDD)
Union Party
Militant Civic Movement (MCM)
Action Force of Base Coordination (FACOBA)
Independents for the National Community (IPCN).

The party held its founding congress in 2008 and on 14th March 2008 Hugo Chávez was made president of the new party.

In their first electoral outing since the merger the new collective party managed to win 96 of the 167 seats in the 2010 general election.

In 2011 Hugo Chávez called for the formation once more of the Patriotic Pole which had helped his election in 1998. The new alliance or Great Patriotic Pole was formed which is said to bring together 35,000 Venezuelan movements and collectives to support the re-election of Hugo Chávez.

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela is a member of the left leaning Latin American and Caribbean Foro de São Paulo (FSP).

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