single party, the Venezuelan United Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Unidos de Venezuela, PSUV), ...sounds fine but unfortunately this would be an amalgamation of 'the whole left', that is from centre liberal left right across to extreme left and communism. I don't think they have much choice and three of the various parties have "so far refused to dissolve their groups and they have expressed concerns that this new style of politics could lead to one way of thinking" (Yes..I think that's what Hugo wants!). Thing is, there are millions who have already signed up to be activists for the new party...yes, millions! "Six million people have volunteered to become activists. They have been formed into battalions"...that many in a country with a population of 26 million and whose voting population is about 18 million people...the maths is easy: 30% of the entire voting population are already/soon to be signed-up party activists!...can you see how easy winning elections is going to be?
That's not all...these 'battalions' will have their own 'security'; I have mentioned this before and it is worrying: Chavez wants a 1 million-strong civilian militia - citizen soldiers:
Now, as they keep saying, these armed militias are only to guard against a US invasion, right?
"...a 1 million-strong civilian militia for a "war of resistance" against the United States."... ..."and 150,000 have already joined, surpassing the regular military's force of 100,000. Now Venezuelans are also organizing neighborhood-based militia units for Chavez's Territorial Guard."
I'm not so sure: the opposition or anyone who even speaks out against Chavez is immediately hounded and insulted as being puppets of the 'evil empire', so if there is a sufficiently effective vocal or active opposition they will be treated as instruments of the US and it only needs one man to stifle that voice of opposition, actual invasion or not, ominously and obviously, the writing is on the wall:
"We're not the police or the national guard, but if there is a coup or an effort to assassinate the comandante, we will go into the streets to defend the revolution,"
"If Chávez wants us to react, we will."