United Socialist Party of Venezuela

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United Socialist Party of Venezuela
Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela
PresidentNicolás Maduro
Vice PresidentDiosdado Cabello
FounderHugo Chávez
Founded24 March 2007; 15 years ago (2007-03-24)
Merger of
HeadquartersMariperez, Caracas
NewspaperCuatro F
Youth wingJPSUV
Membership (2014)7,632,606[1]
Political positionLeft-wing[7] to far-left[8]
National affiliationGreat Patriotic Pole (GPP)[9]
Regional affiliationCOPPPAL
São Paulo Forum
Colors  Red
"La Hora del Pueblo"[10]
("People's Hour")
Seats in the National Assembly
219 / 277
Seats in the Latin American Parliament
4 / 12
19 / 23
303 / 335
Party flag
Flag of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Spanish: Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, PSUV) is a socialist political party which has been the ruling party of Venezuela since 2010. It was formed from a merger of some of the political and social forces that support the Bolivarian Revolution led by President Hugo Chávez. It is the largest political party in Venezuela and the 11th largest in the world with more than 7 million active members as of 2014.[1]

At the 2015 parliamentary election, PSUV lost its majority in the National Assembly for the first time since the unicameral legislature's creation in 2000 against the Democratic Unity Roundtable, winning 55 out of the National Assembly's 167 seats.[11] In the 2020 elections however, amid a widespread opposition boycott, they won back a supermajority of the chamber.[12]


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.[13] 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[14] which all together added up 45.99% of the votes received by Chávez during the 2006 election.[15] Other pro-Bolivarian parties like the Communist Party of Venezuela (Partido Comunista de Venezuela, PCV),[16] Fatherland for All (Patria Para Todos, PPT)[17] and For Social Democracy (PODEMOS),[18] 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.[19][better source needed] 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.[20][better source needed] 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[21] 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".[22] 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.[23]

Parties joining PSUV Parties not joining PSUV
Fifth Republic Movement (MVR) For Social Democracy (PODEMOS)
People's Electoral Movement (MEP)[24] Fatherland for All (PPT)
Everybody Wins Independent Movement (MIGATO) Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV)
Venezuelan Popular Unity (UPV)[25] Revolutionary Middle Class (CMR)
Revolutionary Movement Tupamaro (MRT)[26] Emergent People [es] (GE)
Socialist League (LS)[27] Action Networks of Communitary Change (REDES)
Movement for Direct Democracy [es] (MDD)[28] Communitary Patriotic Unity [es] (UPC)
Union Party [es; ne][29] New People Concentration Movement [es] (MCGN)
Militant Civic Movement [es] (MCM)[30] Active Democracy National Organization (ONDA)
Action Force of Base Coordination (FACOBA) National Independent Movement (MNI)
Independents for the National Community [es] (IPCN)[31] Labor Power [es] (PL)
Venezuelan Revolutionary Currents [es; zh] (CRV)

The party held its founding congress in early 2008, from 12 January to 2 March, with 1681 delegates participating.[32] Chávez was proclaimed President of the new party on 14 March.[32][non-primary source needed]

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.[33] Internal issues also appeared in the party, with an email address and telephone hotline created to report "internal enemies".[33] 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.[33]


The PSUV defines its values and principles as follows:

The party is constituted as a socialist party, and affirms that a socialist society is the only alternative to overcome the capitalist system. It assumes as ideological sources the thoughts and works of Simón Bolívar, Simón Rodríguez and Ezequiel Zamora. The party values in the same way the principles of scientific socialism, Christianity, liberation theology, all critical and humanist universal thought, gender equity and equality, and the ethical obligation to build a [political] model respectful of life and mother Earth that guarantees human survival.

As a multiethnic and diverse party, it nurtures its roots of Afro-Indianism bequeathed by Guaicaipuro and José Leonardo Chirino, all inspired by the fundamental leadership and revolutionary ideas of Commander Hugo Chávez, aimed at creating the new man and woman in a melting pot of hopes and dreams that make our socialism a mestizo socialism, loaded with Africanity, the elements of the indigenous peoples, and with the international vision that has had Francisco de Miranda as its greatest proponent.

We assume the principle of civic-military unity to guarantee the defense of national and popular sovereignty.

— Article 3: Values and Principles, PSUV Statutes, 2010[34]

The PSUV defend the Bolivarian Revolution as a process of peaceful transition to socialism and, therefore, of overcoming capitalism. This is in line with Chávez's socialism of the 21st century. The party considers the establishment of socialism to be necessarily linked to an anti-imperialist struggle, that, currently, must consist of the formation of a block of socialist countries in Latin America.[35]

With the creation of PSUV, relationships greatly soured with former coalition parties that chose not to join. By the 2008 regional election campaign in October, Chávez declared that "Patria Para Todos and the Communist Party of Venezuela will disappear from the political map because they are liars and manipulators."[citation needed]

Chávez said that the PSUV was "a very young party" with an average age of 35 among members. Analysts agreed, saying: "The assumption is that the younger people are going to be [Chavistas], they are going to be the ones whose families have benefited from Chávez's social programs."[36]

In April 2010, an Extraordinary Congress of the PSUV resulted in the endorsement of a range of "general principles", including among others socialism, Marxism, and Bolivarianism; humanism, internationalism, and patriotism; and the defense of participatory democracy and use of internal party democracy. It also defined the party as the "political vanguard of the revolutionary process".[37]

The party held its 3rd Congress in 2014, which elected Nicolás Maduro as the 2nd party president and honored Hugo Chávez posthumously as the party's eternal president and founder, and party policies were updated. It was followed by the 4th Party Congress in 2018.[38]


The Party builds on the cult of personality of Hugo Chávez, with revolutionary symbols like the Chávez eyes sometimes along with the party symbols.

Party symbols[edit]


Party meeting in Maracaibo in December 2012

Party Congress[edit]

The highest level of organization is the National Party Congress, which is the party's supreme organ, and is held upon the discretion of the National Board whenever necessary. It is composed of elected delegates both from the national level and state representatives of party committees, and is empowered to:

  • nominate the President of the Party and his/her Vice President
  • elect new or returning members of the National Board
  • amend the Party Charter and Rules
  • discuss and enact any new party policies, as well as to amend existing ones

The National Party Congress is held every four years.

National Board[edit]

The party is headed at the national level by the Eternal President Hugo Chávez (a posthumous title), the president (currently Nicolás Maduro), vice-president (Diosdado Cabello), and the national board of directors currently made up of the following:

The PSUV National Board is the highest organ of party leadership and is empowered by the Charter to enact new policies in between Party Congresses.

Units of Battle Hugo Chávez (UBCh)[edit]

The Units of Battle Hugo Chávez (UBCh) is a collection of organizations with multiple members of PSUV involved that has both military and political characteristics.[39] The UBCh originated as a group to defend the Bolivarian Revolution and support the party through electoral processes in Venezuela, and were transformed into their current name in 2013.[39] They form the basic party unit in Venezuelan communities, and 4 or more of them form a People's Struggle Circle (Círculo de Lucha Popular) in the community level. The Unit itself is divided into 10 Unit Patrols serving various functions for party members in various sectors.

Other assisting groups include:

Election results[edit]


Election year Name First Round Second Round
# of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
2012 Hugo Chávez 8,191,132 55.1 (#1)
Major party in the "Great Patriotic Pole".
2013 Nicolás Maduro 7,587,579 50.6 (#1)
Major party in the "Great Patriotic Pole".
2018 Nicolás Maduro 6,205,875 67.8% (#1)
Major party in the "Great Patriotic Pole".


Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
2010 5,451,419 (#1) 48.3
96 / 165
Decrease 22 Diosdado Cabello
2015 5,599,025 (#2) 40.9
52 / 167
Decrease 44
2020 4,317,819 (#1) 69.3
219 / 277
Increase 167

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b PSUV, July 2014 7.632.606 militantes del PSUV elegirán sus delegados este domingo
  2. ^ María, Eva. "Why "Twenty-First-Century Socialism" Failed". jacobinmag.com. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b PSUV, December 2014, Libro Rojo, p. 46
  4. ^ Lopéz, Ociel Alí (11 July 2018). "Chavismo: Its Strength Could Be its Greatest Risk". acla.org. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Conference Proceedings Library". www.ipsa.org. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  6. ^ Steve Ellner & Daniel Hellinger, eds., Venezuelan politics in the Chávez era: class, polarization, and conflict. Boulder: Lyne Rienner, 2003, ISBN 1-58826-297-9, p. 67
  7. ^ Rapoza, Kenneth (22 January 2019). "Could The Socialists United Of Venezuela Finally Be Falling Apart?". Forbes. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  8. ^ Kryt, Jeremy (7 December 2015). "Venezuela's Opposition Wins Big, But Maduro's Still There". The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast Company, LLC. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Chavez launches election alliance". BBC News. 8 October 2011.
  10. ^ "Himno del PSUV". psuv.org.ve (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Venezuela Opposition Won Majority of National Assembly Seats". Bloomberg. 7 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Boycott-tainted poll win gives Maduro total control in Venezuela". Bloomberg. 7 December 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  13. ^ Greg Morsbach (19 December 2006). "Venezuela head seeks party merger". BBC. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Home – Grupo Milenio". Milenio. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  15. ^ "Presidential Election December 3, 2006" (in Spanish). National Electoral Council of Venezuela. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Tribuna Popular". www.tribuna-popular.org. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  17. ^ (in Spanish) El Universal, 5 March 2007, José Albornoz: El PPT no se disolverá Archived 22 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Podemos no se disuelve y propuso una constituyente: "No participaremos jamás de pensamientos únicos"" (in Spanish). 5 March 2007. Archived from the original on 5 March 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  19. ^ Chris Carlson (7 March 2007). "Chavez Presents Plan for Socialist Unity Party of Venezuela". Venezuelanalysis.com. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  20. ^ Gregory Wilpert (5 March 2007). "Chavez Allies Delay Decision on Merging with New Venezuelan Socialist Party". Venezuelanalysis.com. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  21. ^ Buckman, Robert T. (2012), The World Today Series, 2012: Latin America, Stryker-Post, p. 366
  22. ^ (in Spanish) El Universal, 19 March 2007, "Los que se quieran ir, váyanse, pero escojan bien cómo irse"
  23. ^ www.ppt.org.ve https://web.archive.org/web/20070611042600/http://www.ppt.org.ve/20070411.php. Archived from the original on 11 June 2007. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN) (19 December 2006). "MEP aceptó propuesta de Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela". Aporrea. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  25. ^ Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN) (19 December 2006). "UPV se disuelve para formar parte del Partido Socialista Único de Venezuela". Aporrea. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  26. ^ "El Tiempo – El Periódico del Pueblo Oriental". Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  27. ^ Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN) (21 December 2006). "Liga Socialista se adhiere al PSUV". Aporrea. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  28. ^ Prensa MDD (19 December 2006). "MDD apoya el llamado a conformar el PSUV". Aporrea. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  29. ^ "PSUV: Partido Unión se disuelve para incorporarse al PSUV". Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  30. ^ "PSUV: Propuestas del Movimiento Cívico Militante (MCM) sobre el Partido Único y el Socialismo del Siglo XXI". Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  31. ^ "PSUV: Partido Independientes por la Comunidad se incorpora al PSUV". Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  32. ^ a b PSUV, Somos un faro para América Latina y el Mundo, accessed 12 May 2011
  33. ^ a b c "Venezuela Is on Borrowed Time". Business Insider. 29 November 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  34. ^ "Estatutos | PSUV".
  35. ^ "Bases programáticas del Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV)". PSUV. 24 April 2010.
  36. ^ Bloomberg, 11 October 2007, Venezuela May Lower Voting Age, Add Gay Rights in Constitution
  37. ^ PSUV, June 2010, Libro Rojo, pp. 45–46
  38. ^ "Fourth PSUV congress gets underway". country.eiu.com. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  39. ^ a b "Contraataque de Maduro: alista las "Unidades de Batalla Hugo Chávez"". Infobae. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.

External links[edit]