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Venezuela: translating the revolution aims to promote solidarity with Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution by providing translations of interesting and important Venezuelan news articles and opinion pieces. It welcomes genuine discussion and debate on the posted articles.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Organisational principles and internal democracy

The following continues my translation of the PSUV Red Book’s ‘Statutes’ (i.e. constitution). Here are articles 3, 4 and 5 from chapter 1:

Fundamental positions (continued)

Translated by Owen Richards

Article 3: values and principles
The party builds itself as a socialist party and affirms the socialist society as the only alternative to supersede the capitalist system. It takes the thoery and practice of Simon Bolivar, Simon Rodriguez and Ezequiel Zamora as its creative source.  Likewise, it adopts the principles of scientific socialism, of Christianity, of liberation theology, of all critical, universal and humanist thought, gender equity and equality and the ethical obligation to build a model that respects life and mother Earth and guarantees the survival of humanity.
Simon Bolivar
As a diverse and multi-ethnic party, it nourishes its roots in the Afro-Indian legacy of Guaicaipuro and Jose Leonardo Chirino, everthing inspired in the fundamental leadership and revolutionary ideas of Commander Hugo Chavez, directed towards creating a new man and woman in the crucible of hopes and dreams that makes our new socialism a racially-mixed socialism, loaded with African identity, with the identity of our indigenous peoples, and with the international vision whose chief exponent has been Francisco de Miranda.
We assume civic-military unity as the principle to guarantee national and popular defence and sovereignty.
Article 4: On organisational principles
The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), as a revolutionary party representing the interests of the urban and rural proletariat, of the campesinos and the other exploited social sectors, must be organized and work according to the principles of socialist democracy. That is to say:
• Political-ideological cohesion.
• Democratic centralism—understood as the subordination of the whole organisation to the leadership; the subordination of all militants to their organisations; the subordination of all lesser bodies to superior bodies; the subordination of the minority to the majority; top down and bottom up control of the implementation of party decisions; that all leadership bodies be elected, and the principle of collective leadership (collective and individual responsibilities) —all of which is based on the conscious discipline arising from the political line, programme and statutes governing the life of the party.
• Collective leadership of all bodies.
• Accountability before leadership bodies and before the people.
• Recallability, based upon a democratic evaluation of management.
• Constant exercise of criticism and self-criticism regarding one's own errors and those of others, in the correct way with the aim of overcoming areas.
• The exercise of socialist emulation—understood as the recognition of the political practice and revolutionary integrity of party militants.
Article 5: Methods of internal democracy
The party may use various methods when making decisions and conducting internal elections, which will be decided by the various leadership bodies according to the political conditions: direct,universal and secret election; cooptation; first, second or third grade elections; discussion and consensus.

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