United Socialist Party of Venezuela
The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela) is a Far-Left political party founded by Hugo Chávez and currently lead by current President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.
The process of merging most of the unidentified parties involved in the pro-Bolivarian Revolution coalition was initiated by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez after he won the Venezuelan presidential election of 2006. The process was led by Chávez' own party, the Fifth Republic Movement, and was supported by a range of smaller parties such as the People's Electoral Movement (MEP), Venezuelan Popular Unity (UPV), the Tupamaro Movement, the Socialist League and others which all together added up 45.99% of the votes received by Chávez during the 2006 election.
Other pro-Bolivarian parties like the Communist Party of Venezuela (Partido Comunista de Venezuela, PCV), Fatherland for All (Patria Para Todos, PPT) and For Social Democracy (PODEMOS), that cast 14.60% of the votes from that election, declined to join the new party.
On 7 March 2007, Chávez presented a phased plan for founding the new party until November 2007. PODEMOS, PPT and PCV initially stated they would wait until PSUV had been founded and decide their membership in the new party based on its program. On 18 March 2007, Chávez declared on his programme Aló Presidente that he had "opened the doors for the For Social Democracy, the Fatherland for All, and the Communist Party of Venezuela if they want to go away from Chávez´s alliance, they may do so and leave us in peace".
In his opinion, those parties were near to be on the opposition and they should choose wisely, between going "in silence, hugging us or throwing stones". PPT, at its 2007 congress on 10 and 11 April, decided not to join but re-affirmed its support for Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution.
The party held its founding congress in early 2008, from 12 January to 2 March, with 1681 delegates participating. Chávez was proclaimed President of the new party on 14 March.
As of 2014, the party has been described as "fracturing" and "weakening" due to the loss of Hugo Chávez, the poor state of Venezuela's economy and falling oil prices. Internal issues also appeared in the party, with an email address and telephone hotline created to report "internal enemies". In 23 November PSUV elections, it was reported by party dissidents that very few individuals participated, with less than 10% of the supposedly 7.6 million members casting a vote.