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Movement for Socialism (Venezuela)

Movement for Socialism (Venezuela)

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Movement for Socialism is a center-left political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 in Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

.

History


The Movement for Socialism ( or ) is a social-democratic
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

 political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 in Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

. MAS was founded in 1971 by a faction of the Communist Party of Venezuela
Communist Party of Venezuela
The Communist Party of Venezuela is a Marxist-Leninist political party, and the oldest continuously existing party in Venezuela...

, with a view to emphasising a socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 message. Initially led by Teodoro Petkoff
Teodoro Petkoff
Teodoro Petkoff Malec is a Venezuelan politician, ex-guerrilla, journalist and economist. One of the most prominent politicians on the left in Venezuela, Petkoff began as a communist but gravitated towards liberalism in the 1990s. As Minister of Planning he oversaw President Rafael Caldera's...

, its first congress was held on January 14, 1971. In 1988 another left-wing party, the Movement of the Revolutionary Left
Revolutionary Left Movement (Venezuela)
The Revolutionary Left Movement , was a left-wing Marxist political party in Venezuela...

, merged with MAS.

In the 1970s to the 1990s, members of MAS hoped that the party would become the third largest political force, challenging the dominant Social Christian
COPEI
Copei – Social Christian Party of Venezuela is a third way political party in Venezuela. The name stands for Comité de Organización Política Electoral Independiente...

 and Democratic Action parties. However, the party often won less than 5% of the vote. At the 1993 election
Venezuelan presidential election, 1993
General elections were held in Venezuela on 5 December 1993. The presidential elections were won by Rafael Caldera of National Convergence, who received 30.5% of the vote. Democratic Action remained the largest party in the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, which were elected on separate ballots for...

 it supported the National Convergence
National Convergence
The National Convergence is a conservative/Christian democratic political party in Venezuela. It was founded in 1993 by former President of Venezuela Rafael Caldera, successfully gaining a second term in the Venezuelan presidential election, 1993. From 1995 to 2004 Eduardo Lapi held the...

 coalition which successfully backed Rafael Caldera
Rafael Caldera
Rafael Antonio Caldera Rodríguez was president of Venezuela from 1969 to 1974 and again from 1994 to 1999.Caldera taught sociology and law at various universities before entering politics. He was a founding member of COPEI, Venezuela's Christian Democratic party...

, contributing 10.59% of the vote, a third of Caldera's total. At the parliamentary elections the same year it achieved a high water mark of 5 Senators
Venezuelan Senate
The Venezuelan Senate was the upper house of Venezuela's legislative under its 1961 constitution. Under the 1999 constitution, the bicameral system was replaced by the unicameral National Assembly of Venezuela....

 and 24 Deputies
Venezuelan Chamber of Deputies
The Venezuelan Chamber of Deputies was the lower house of Venezuela's legislative under its 1961 constitution; the Venezuelan Senate was the upper house...

.

MAS initially supported the government of Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

 in 1998. Petkoff disagreed with this decision and left the party. Disagreements between MAS and Chávez subsequently emerged, and MAS joined the opposition.

In the legislative elections
Elections in Venezuela
||Elections in Venezuela gives information on elections and election results in Venezuela.Venezuela elects on a national level a head of state a president and a unicameral federal legislature. The President of Venezuela is elected for a six-year term by the people, and is eligible for re-election...

 of 30 July 2000, the party won 21 out of 165 seats in the National Assembly
National Assembly of Venezuela
The National Assembly is the legislative branch of the Venezuelan government. It is a unicameral body made up of a variable number of members, who are elected by "universal, direct, personal, and secret" vote partly by direct election in state-based voting districts, and partly on a state-based...

. Its current leaders include Leopoldo Puchi, Felipe Mújica and Carlos Tablante.

In the period since 1989, when state governors have been directly elected, the party has won state governorships in Delta Amacuro
Delta Amacuro
Delta Amacuro State is one of the 23 states of Venezuela, and is the location of the Orinoco Delta. The Paria Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean are found to the north, Bolívar State is found to the south, the Atlantic Ocean and Guyana are found to the east, and Monagas State is found to the west...

, Lara
Lara (state)
Lara State is one of the 23 states into which Venezuela is divided. The state capital is Barquisimeto.Lara State covers a total surface area of and, in 2007, had an estimated population of 1,795,100.- Municipalities and municipal seats :...

, Portuguesa
Portuguesa (state)
Portuguesa State is one of the 23 states of Venezuela.The state capital is Guanare, founded in 1591.Portuguesa State covers a total surface area of 15,200 km² and, in 2007, had an estimated population of 873,400.-Municipalities:...

, Sucre
Sucre (state)
Sucre State is one of the 23 states of Venezuela. The state capital is Cumaná. Sucre State covers a total surface area of 11,800 km² and, in 2007, had an estimated population of 916,600.-Municipalities and municipal seats:...

 (Ramón Martínez
Ramón Martínez (Governor)
Ramón Martínez is a Venezuelan politician. He was the Governor of the state of Sucre from 1992 to 1998 for the Movement for Socialism, and again from 2000 to 2008, first for Movement for Socialism and then for For Social Democracy. From 1998 to 2000 he was a member of the Venezuelan Senate. He had...

) and Zulia
Zulia
Zulia State is one of the 23 states of Venezuela. The state capital is Maracaibo. In June 30, 2010, it had an estimated population of 3,821,068, giving it the largest population among Venezuela's states. It is located in the northwestern part of the country...

.

Presidential candidates supported


Elections where MAS backed the winning candidate shown in bold
  • 1973 election
    Venezuelan presidential election, 1973
    General elections were held in Venezuela on 9 December 1973. The presidential elections were won by Carlos Andrés Pérez of Democratic Action, who received 48.7% of the vote, whilst his party won a majority of seats in the Chamber of Deputies and Senate. Voter turnout was 96.5%.-President:-Congress:...

    : José Vicente Rangel
    José Vicente Rangel
    José Vicente Rangel Vale is a Venezuelan leftist politician. He ran for President three times in the 1970s and 1980s and later supported Hugo Chávez, successively becoming Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, and Vice President in Chávez's government.-Political activism:His political activism began...

     (4.26%)
  • 1978 election
    Venezuelan presidential election, 1978
    General elections were held in Venezuela on 3 December 1978. The presidential elections were won by Luis Herrera Campins of Copei, who received 46.6% of the vote. Although Copei received more votes, Democratic Action won the most seats in the Chamber of Deputies, whilst the two parties won 21 seats...

    : José Vicente Rangel
    José Vicente Rangel
    José Vicente Rangel Vale is a Venezuelan leftist politician. He ran for President three times in the 1970s and 1980s and later supported Hugo Chávez, successively becoming Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, and Vice President in Chávez's government.-Political activism:His political activism began...

     (5.18%)
  • 1983 election
    Venezuelan presidential election, 1983
    General elections were held in Venezuela on 4 December 1983. The presidential elections were won by Jaime Lusinchi of Democratic Action, who received 58.4% of the vote, whilst his party won a majority of seats in the Chamber of Deputies and Senate. Voter turnout was 87.3%.-President:-Congress:...

    : Teodoro Petkoff
    Teodoro Petkoff
    Teodoro Petkoff Malec is a Venezuelan politician, ex-guerrilla, journalist and economist. One of the most prominent politicians on the left in Venezuela, Petkoff began as a communist but gravitated towards liberalism in the 1990s. As Minister of Planning he oversaw President Rafael Caldera's...

     (4.17%)
  • 1988 election
    Venezuelan presidential election, 1988
    General elections were held in Venezuela on 4 December 1988. The presidential elections were won by Carlos Andrés Pérez of Democratic Action, who received 52.9% of the vote, whilst his party won the most seats in the Chamber of Deputies and Senate...

    : Teodoro Petkoff
    Teodoro Petkoff
    Teodoro Petkoff Malec is a Venezuelan politician, ex-guerrilla, journalist and economist. One of the most prominent politicians on the left in Venezuela, Petkoff began as a communist but gravitated towards liberalism in the 1990s. As Minister of Planning he oversaw President Rafael Caldera's...

     (2.71%)
  • 1993 election
    Venezuelan presidential election, 1993
    General elections were held in Venezuela on 5 December 1993. The presidential elections were won by Rafael Caldera of National Convergence, who received 30.5% of the vote. Democratic Action remained the largest party in the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, which were elected on separate ballots for...

    : Rafael Caldera
    Rafael Caldera
    Rafael Antonio Caldera Rodríguez was president of Venezuela from 1969 to 1974 and again from 1994 to 1999.Caldera taught sociology and law at various universities before entering politics. He was a founding member of COPEI, Venezuela's Christian Democratic party...

     (independent, backed by a coalition of anti-COPEI
    COPEI
    Copei – Social Christian Party of Venezuela is a third way political party in Venezuela. The name stands for Comité de Organización Política Electoral Independiente...

    /Acción Democrática parties, MAS contributing 10.59% of vote)
  • 1998 election
    Venezuelan presidential election, 1998
    In the Venezuelan presidential election of 1998, Hugo Chávez was elected to his first term as President of Venezuela with the largest percentage of the popular vote in four decades...

    : Hugo Chávez
    Hugo Chávez
    Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

     (Fifth Republic Movement
    Fifth Republic Movement
    The Fifth Republic Movement was a left-wing, Socialist political party in Venezuela. It was founded in July 1997, following a national congress of the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200, to support the candidacy of Hugo Chávez, the current President of Venezuela, in the Venezuelan presidential...

     candidate, MAS contributing 9.00%)
  • 2000 election
    Venezuelan presidential election, 2000
    A presidential election was held in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on July 30, 2000. This was the first election held under Venezuela's newly adopted 1999 constitution.-Results:...

    : Hugo Chávez
    Hugo Chávez
    Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

     (Fifth Republic Movement
    Fifth Republic Movement
    The Fifth Republic Movement was a left-wing, Socialist political party in Venezuela. It was founded in July 1997, following a national congress of the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200, to support the candidacy of Hugo Chávez, the current President of Venezuela, in the Venezuelan presidential...

     candidate, MAS contributing 8.70%)
  • 2006 election
    Venezuelan presidential election, 2006
    The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela held presidential elections on 3 December 2006, to choose a president for the six-year term to begin on 10 January 2007...

    : Manuel Rosales
    Manuel Rosales
    Manuel Antonio Rosales Guerrero is a Venezuelan educator and politician and was the most prominent opposition candidate in the 2006 presidential election, losing to incumbent Hugo Chávez...

     (A New Era
    A New Era
    A New Era is a centrist political party of Venezuela arising from the Third Way tradition. It is the largest party in Venezuela's fractured opposition, earning 11% of the vote in the 2008 gubernatorial elections...

     candidate, MAS contributing 0.61%)

See also

  • Douglas Bravo
    Douglas Bravo
    Douglas Bravo is a former guerrilla fighter and Venezuelan politician.Bravo became a member of the Communist Party of Venezuela in 1946, only to be expelled from it in 1964....

    and his FALN guerilla faction had been expelled from the Communist Party in 1965, forming the Party of Venezuelan Revolution.

Further reading

  • Venezuela's Movimiento al Socialismo: From Guerrilla Defeat to Innovative Politics by Steve Ellner. [Reviews: by Jennifer L. McCoy in Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 31, No. 4 (Winter, 1989), pp. 243-245; by John D. Martz in The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 69, No. 1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 142-143]
  • Ellner, Steve (1986), "The MAS Party in Venezuela", Latin American Perspectives