By TAMARA PEARSON – VENEZUELANALYSIS.COM
Mérida, September 13th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – President Hugo Chavez announced this morning that the registration period for “Vanguard Patrols” of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) would be extended by another week because “there are still a lot of members registering”.
Over the last six weeks the PSUV has had hundreds of registration tents set up in all the states of Venezuela in order to conduct a census, to then reorganise the PSUV structure in the lead up to regional and presidential elections next year.
In what Chavez referred to as the “vanguard” or “cadre” patrols of the party, almost two million people have registered so far, out of the total six million party members. The “Vanguard Patrols” are made up of 10 to 20 people.
To register in the patrols, all people need is Venezuelan ID and don’t necessarily have to be members of the PSUV, they could also be members of other Bolivarian revolution supporting organisations, such as the Venezuelan Communist Party, or not members of any organisation.
After the registration process finishes the PSUV leadership plans to call for “assemblies” of patrol members, predicting that it will carry out a total of 11,000 such meetings.
In those assemblies, “We’ll discuss an agenda which will include the Red Book [the PSUV’s program], the declaration of principles, the programmatic bases, the statutes, and finally, we’ll begin forming the patrols,” said Aristobulo Isturiz, PSUV vice-president for the central region.
The new stage in reorganising the PSUV would include “ideological training workshops,” said Alirio Liscano, PSUV executive member in Merida state, and according to Jhonny Meza, another PSUV leader, the Patrols will not just fight “the electoral battle, but also will aim to consolidate this change process that is being lived in the country, headed by President Hugo Chavez”.
The “patrols” are also a PSUV campaign strategy that it has used in various elections, where people are assigned to voting booths near where they live to ensure voting is fair and to encourage their neighbours to vote.
“This registration of vanguard patrols is one of the key elements for forming the bases of an active party that is articulated with the people and that constructs socialism,” said PSUV national leader Blanca Eekhout.