This week, the Socialist Workers Front within the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) began the formation of worker “patrols,” or local units, to function together with the party’s neighborhood based patrols. Also, the party announced that it will host the ‘First International Meeting of Leftist Parties’ in early October.
Socialist Workers Front representative Orlando Castillo said the union currents that belong to the PSUV plan to organize tens of thousands of local assemblies in order to form patrols composed of ten to twenty workers each, “because there cannot be any construction of socialism without the active, organized, and mobilized participation of the workers.”
According to Castillo, there are 2.5 million workers who belong to the Socialist Workers Front, while the PSUV as a whole has almost 7 million members.
Among the immediate tasks of the worker patrols will be to resist imperialism in the wake of the June 28th military coup d’etat in Honduras and Colombia’s deal to allow increased U.S. troop presence on Colombian bases. Venezuela called the deal a threat, cutoff diplomatic relations, and has been setting up “Peace Bases” along its border to promote bi-national reconciliation.
“We must demonstrate our unity and capacity for mobilization in the face of the national and international oligarchy’s attack on Venezuelan democracy [and] the empire’s attempts to strike a blow against our national sovereignty and Latin American integration,” said Castillo.
Another immediate task of the patrols will be to defend Venezuela’s new Education Law, which expands the state’s role in public education and defines education as a human right. After the National Assembly passed the law in August, several prominent opposition parties and educational organizations, with the help of the private media, called for teachers and parents to sabotage the law’s implementation.
“We will stand in defense of public, egalitarian, accessible, solidarity-based education that activates the people’s participation, which is a central element of the new law,” said Castillo.
The formation of worker patrols corresponds to the PSUV’s national restructuring into patrols, which began in August. The patrols operate on a smaller and more local scale, with twenty to thirty members, than the former structure of batallions, which had hundreds of members. The patrols are meant to organize political actions and study groups to deepen the population’s knowledge of socialism in the Venezuelan context.
According to PSUV Mobilization Coordinator Dario Vivas, “the national mobilization plan of the PSUV is based on five fundamental axes: The promotion of volunteer work in educational centers and institutions, the critical discussion of the communications media, safety and defense with the Peace Bases, the dissemination of the achievements of the Bolivarian [Revolution], and debate of the revolutionary laws.”
Vivas called on all new PSUV patrols to be alert to acts of sabotage of the new Education Law and other forms of destabilization, such as violent street protests. The patrols should “have a permanent presence in the street, organized in response to the plans of imperialism, as a mechanism for defense of the people.”
To propel the PSUV’s national mobilization plan, Venezuela will host an international conference of leftist and revolutionary political parties from October 6th to 9th, according to a group of national PSUV leaders, including Labor Minister Maria Cristina Iglesias.
The conference will include concerts, workshops, discussion of the formation of peace bases, and a commemoration of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the hero of the Cuban revolution who was killed by CIA-backed Bolivian forces while leading guerrilla insurgents in Bolivia on October 8th, 1967.
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This post was written by James Suggett