Communist Party of Venezuela

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Communist Party of Venezuela


(CPV, Partido Comunista de Venezuela), a party founded in March 1931 (the date specified according to documents of the Fourth Congress of the CPV). It was admitted to the Comintern in August 1935. In its first years the party operated underground. The first national conference was held in Maracay in August 1937; it adopted a number of measures to strengthen the party organizationally. In 1944 the party was split as a result of the factionalism of rightopportunist and left-sectarian groups.

The Communists won the right to operate legally in 1945. The First Congress of the CPV was held in November 1946. It adopted political theses and party rules. The Second Congress of the CPV (August 1948) called upon all the progressive forces of the country to create a united front to struggle against the imperialist monopolies and domestic reaction. In May 1950 the government of the military junta (which had seized power in 1948) banned the Communist Party. In 1957 the Patriotic Junta was established on the initiative of the CPV. The junta played a large role in the struggle against the Pérez Jiménez dictatorship (1952–58); after this was overthrown, the party emerged from the underground. In the elections of December 1958 the CPV won nine seats in Congress. In 1959 the Confederation of Workers of Venezuela and the National Peasant Federation were set up with the participation of the CPV.

The Third Congress of the party (March 1961) called for the use of all forms of struggle—legal and illegal, peaceful and violent — to defeat the government policy of capitulation to the US imperialist monopolies and to establish a democratic and patriotic government. The congress adopted political theses and new rules. In May 1962 the party was banned. Between 1962 and 1966, the CPV was active in the armed struggle that unfolded against the Betancourt and Leoni governments. The eighth plenum of the Central Committee of the CPV (April 1967) called for the creation of a broad front of civilians and military men to achieve progressive changes that would open the way for the independent development of the country. While underground, the CPV took part in elections of December 1968 under the name of the Union of Forward Movement, obtaining six seats in the Congress. In March 1969 the party was legalized. The 13th plenum of the Central Committee of the CPV (May 1969) came out for the expansion of anti-imperialist actions in defense of the sovereignty and independence of the country and for the nationalization of the oil industry; it called for the reestablishment of diplomatic and trade relations with the USSR. The Fourth Congress of the CPV (January 1971) adopted a political declaration, a program of immediate demands, and new rules for the party and charted a line of struggle against imperialism and for profound social transformations. The congress expelled the rightopportunist Petkoff-Marques grouping from the party. On the basis of the resolutions of the Fourth Congress, the party stepped up its activity and strengthened its influence among the masses. Its membership grew to 16,000 (January 1973). The CPV played an important role in the creation of a popular unity front, the New Force, which united the progressive forces of Venezuela. In 1974 the CPV held its Fifth Congress.

Delegations of the CPV participated in the work of the international Conferences of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Moscow (1957, 1960, and 1969). The CPV approved the documents adopted at the conferences.

The supreme party body is the Congress and, between congresses, the Central Committee, which elects the Political Bureau and Secretariat. The general secretary of the party is J. Faria, and the chairman is G. Machado. The central organ is the newspaper Tribuna Popular.


IV Congreso del Partido Comunista de Venezuela, Documentos y resoluciones. Caracas, 1971.
Ortega Diaz, P. Que es el PCV? Caracas, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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