Yesterday, at the opening session of the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) Hugo Chavez gave a radical socialist speech and called for the setting up of a new International which he called the Fifth International. He explained that Karl Marx set up the First International, Engels participated in the founding of the Second International, Lenin founded the Third International, and Leon trotsky the Fourth International. He stated that for different reasons none of them are in existence today.
There were 772 red shirted delegates, mostly workers, peasants and students elected by 2.5 million voters.
Chavez pointed out that all the previous Internationals were originally based in Europe, reflecting the class battles of the time. But today the epicenter of revolution is in Latin America, especially Venezuela.
His speech represented the pressure he is receiving from those who are frustrated and tired of talk about socialism, while there seems to be little real progress towards change. Chavez talked about the necessity of destroying the bourgeois state and replacing it with a revolutionary state. But he also referred to the dangers of the bureaucracy (some would say corruption) in the Bolivarian Movement. He also called for vigilance against signs of privileged bureaucracy within the PSUV.
He received loud applause when he announced they are going to take over seven banks. It appears that Chavez is trying to breathe new life into the Bolivarian Revolution and his cadres in Venezuela. We will have to wait and see if a genuine Worker's State will be established in Venezuela.
(Thanks to the eyewitness report by Alan Woods