Radical Cause

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The Radical Cause
La Causa Radical
Leader Alfredo Maneiro
President José Ignacio Guédez
Mayor of Ciudad Bolivar Victor Fuenmayor
Founded 1971 (1971)
Ideology Democratic socialism
Radicalism (until 1997)
Political position Left-wing
National affiliation Democratic Unity Roundtable
International affiliation None
Colors Blue and yellow
Seats in the National Assembly
4 / 167
Seats in the Latin American Parliament
0 / 12
Governors of States of Venezuela
0 / 23
2 / 337

The Radical Cause (Spanish: La Causa Radical, LCR), stylized as La Causa Я, is a working-class political party in Venezuela. This political party is part of the Venezuelan opposition to president Nicolás Maduro. Despite La Causa Я no longer having a true national presence, the party still remains influential in its home region of Guayana. In 1997 the party divided, leading many members to join the PSUV.


Early history[edit]

La Causa Я was founded as a revolutionary socialist political party. It was formed in 1971 by Alfredo Maneiro, an intellectual and one-time Communist Party of Venezuela guerrilla. Maneira believed that the Communists and the Movement towards Socialism were not serious enough about organizing the working class as a revolutionary force. La Causa was born and grew quickly. The communist party was collapsing at this time, and La Causa benefited from it.

The party's focus throughout the 1970s and 1980s was organizing factory workers in the Guayana Region (officially: Bolivar (state)) through the so-called Matanceros Movement, as well as workers on the west side of Caracas, Catia, Caracas and Catia.

Maneiro's premature death, caused by a heart attack in 1982, left the party's leadership in the hands of the young labor activists he had trained.[1]


With the 1989 introduction of elections for local and regional offices, La Causa had its first opportunity to compete electorally with a chance of success. In December 1988, La Causa sent three deputies to the Venezuelan Chamber of Deputies.[2] In 1989, one of La Causa's leaders, Andrés Velásquez, became the first Venezuelan elected governor who did not belong to either of the two major political parties (Accion Democratica and COPEI), winning the Bolívar governorship on the Causa R ticket.

In the 1993 presidential elections, the party nominated Andrés Velásquez, and came close to winning. Many party activists, including Velasquez, believed he had been denied the presidency through fraud.[citation needed] In the 1992 local elections, Aristóbulo Istúriz was elected mayor of Caracas for La Causa, where he initiated processes of citizen participation which, although canceled after his term ended in 1995, would later influence the Bolivarian Revolution.

Francisco Arias Cárdenas, one of the main co-conspirators in Hugo Chávez's 1992 coup attempt, later joined La Causa Я and was elected Governor of Zulia State.

In 1997, the Party split into two factions, a radical faction led by Pablo Medina, Aristóbulo Istúriz and Alí Rodríguez Araque and a moderate faction led by Andrés Velásquez. The radical faction, which was favored by a majority of party members, left to found a new party Patria Para Todos (PPT) and went on to support Hugo Chávez's candidacy for the presidency the following year.


After the 1997 breakaway of a majority of its members and their moving to the Patria Para Todos, La Causa's influence was diminished. It retained the name Causa R, shed most of its radical ideology, and later went into opposition to the Chávez government. Today it maintains a token presence in various areas of the country, and is strong only in Bolívar state.[citation needed] The party remained strongly opposed to the Chávez government, joining the Coordinadora Democrática in 2002, supporting Manuel Rosales in the 2006 presidential elections, and opposing the 2007 proposed constitutional reform.

In the Venezuelan general election, 2000, the party won 4 out of 165 seats in the National Assembly. Four years later, it won no seats amid high oppositional abstention.

In the Venezuelan regional elections, 2008, held on November 23, Andrés Velásquez narrowly failed in his bid to win the Bolívar State governorship once again, due to splits within the opposition. Causa R's Victor Fuenmayor was elected mayor of the state's second largest city, Ciudad Bolívar, the party's best result in the election. The party earned less than 1% of the nationwide vote for the various governorships.[citation needed]

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Chalmers, Vilas, Hite, Martin, Piester, Segarra (1997). The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America: Rethinking Participation and Representation. England: OUP Oxford. p. 128. ISBN 0191525138. 
  2. ^ Margarita López-Maya, "The Rise of Causa R in Venezuela", in Douglas A. Chalmers, Carlos M. Vilas, Katherine Hite, Scott B. Martin, Kerianne Piester, Monique Segarra (editors), The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America: Rethinking Participation and Representation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997, p130