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Venezuela: United Socialist Party holds first congress since Hugo Chavez’s death


Venezuela’s key party – United Socialist Party (PSUV) – has begun its first congress since President Hugo Chavez died in March 2013.

Party leaders have urged delegates to consider proposals that will help consolidate the program of social reforms initiated by Hugo Chavez in 1999.

The conference, which ends on July 31, goes ahead after months of anti-government protests across the country.

The opposition blames the economic crisis on failed left-wing policies.

The government says the protests are part of a right-wing plot.

Venezuela’s PSUV is holding its first congress since Hugo Chavez died

Venezuela’s PSUV is holding its first congress since Hugo Chavez died

“Neo-fascists are trying to take over power in Venezuela, Ukraine, Syria, Libya and Palestine. But they won’t succeed,” President Nicolas Maduro said earlier this week.

Nicolas Maduro was elected by a narrow margin to succeed Hugo Chavez in April last year.

Since then, Venezuela has become more politically polarized and the economic crisis has deepened.

The 537 delegates gathered in Caracas have been encouraged to be inspired by the left-wing ideas and determination of Hugo Chavez.

The head of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, said the Third Congress of the PSUV will consolidate the party.

The PSUV was founded in 2008, amalgamating some 10 left-wing parties that supported Hugo Chavez.

“This is a revolutionary country. The right thinks they will return to power in this country. No! They won’t come back,” said Diosdado Cabello, who’s also the party’s first vice-president.

Earlier this week, the trial of Leopoldo Lopez, one of Venezuela’s main opposition leaders, began in Caracas.

He has been in custody since February, accused of inciting violence at an anti-government protest.

Leopoldo Lopez accused Nicolas Maduro’s government of “jailing Venezuelans for seeking democratic change”.

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