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PSUV 5th Congress held in Venezuela: Resistance, Rebirth, Revolution!

By Tom Burke

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro

Caracas, Venezuela – The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) opened their 5th Congress, March 5, with music and a cheering crowd, followed by serious speeches of the PSUV leaders. The international delegation, including the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, with ambassadors from People’s Korea, China, South Africa, Cuba, Russia, Bolivia, Palestine and Nicaragua, were welcomed by every speaker.

Diosdado Cabello, first vice-president of the PSUV, described the 1572-plus delegates representing the workers, indigenous, Afro-Venezuelan, women and youth sectors participating. Women are more than half the delegates and more of the leadership. The largest PSUV section of members are in their thirties, having grown up with the Bolivarian Revolution. For nearly half the room this is their first congress.

In the afternoon, when Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro took the stage, he led a minute of raucous clapping and cheering in memory of President Hugo Chavez. It turned to chanting by the PSUV youth, “Chavez did not die! He made us millions!”

Flanked by the former President Evo Morales of Bolivia and the former president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, and Vice President of Venezuela Delcy Rodrigues, Maduro spoke of the continuing struggle to develop and broaden the economy in Venezuela. The president spoke about the “at your door” food delivery for more than 70% of the people, the over 3 million new apartments and houses built, the necessity to start new production factories for the many goods that the U.S. embargo is trying to deny Venezuela. The U.S. policy is failing.

President Maduro hammered on the theme of the 5th Congress, “Resistance, Rebirth, Revolution.” He spoke at length about problems the PSUV needs to overcome, especially corruption in government.

“The PSUV is based on ethical principles defined by President Chavez, so mistakes get confronted and corrupt people get punished,” said Maduro. He continued, “Sometimes people wear a red shirt to obscure who they really are, but we will find out!”

President Maduro finished by reminding the cadres that they need to resist the U.S. empire and the sanctions which they can overcome through developing their own economy, currently boosted by high oil prices. Growth and improvement is apparent everywhere, despite two years of difficulty with COVID. Over 90% are vaccinated with Russian, Chinese or Cuban versions of the vaccine. There is a new sense the economy is going to grow dramatically if U.S. sanctions can be overcome.

The idea of rebirth was described as the young cadre being trained to leave the colleges and go to the workers and other sectors of the people to teach them to take power and learn from them, to then improve their lives – to build party unity with the millions of PSUV voters throughout society.

The revolution component involves new organizations in workplaces and communities to change power dynamics in a country where the vast majority of the economy is in private hands. The PSUV is planning to shift ownership to public, collective, communal, and state ownership.

Francisco Chew of Mexico's Social Movement of the Land and Berta Rojas of Peru

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