In July 2014 the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) held its third Congress, the first since the death of the party’s founder Hugo Chavez in 2013. The Congress ratified the political programme put forward by Chavez and reaffirmed Nicolas Maduro as party leader. It identified the fundamental tasks of the Bolivarian Revolution over the next five years as ‘the construction of a productive economic apparatus and the advancement and transition towards a socialist economy’, with ‘state transformation’ a key objective. The subsequent cabinet shake-up, campaign against smuggling and focus on food production and popular participation are crucial steps in the struggle for socialism in Venezuela. Sam McGill reports.
The announcement of a ceasefire between the Ukrainian military and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) on 5 September 2014 (extended on 19 September), is a reflection of the utter failure of the Kiev government to crush opposition in the country’s east in a war that has left more than 3,000 people dead, 6,000 wounded and over a million displaced. Russian President Vladimir Putin, vilified as a belligerent warmonger by the imperialist press, has played a leading role in organising the ceasefire, his seven point peace plan forming the basis of negotiations between Kiev and the DNR and LNR. The imperialists and their Ukrainian allies are now forced to reconsider their tactical approach. Jack Edwards reports.