by Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
After nearly 70 years of incessant political activism, the president of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) Jeronimo Carrera died on May 29. His grandson Ulysses Carrera told Venezuelan media that he passed away at his home early in the morning of “natural causes.”

President Nicolas Maduro extended, via Twitter, his “heartfelt condolences” to Carrera’s family and friends as well as all his “PCV comrades” calling Carrera “a truly honourable and glorious personality.”

Born in 1922 in the picturesque city of Cumana in the north-east on the Atlantic coast of Venezuela, Carrera became politically active just after World War II when he travelled to Paris where he came under the influence of the Communist Party of France.

Upon his return he joined the struggle against the infamous dictatorship of General Marcos Perez Jimenez for which he was jailed in Caracas.

Carrera was an active trade unionist. He took part in the foundation of the trade unions of the employees of General Motors and General Electric of Venezuela and co-founded the Confederation of Workers of Venezuela and the United Workers of Venezuela (CUTV).

These efforts earned him a second jail term from the government of Romulo Betancourt – this time in the penitentiary of San Juan de Los Morros.

Later he graduated from Central University of Caracas in international studies and years later joined its teaching staff as professor.

In 1971 he was elected to the PCV central committee. Throughout much of his political life, Carrera was working in a party that was often suppressed by Venezuelan governments.

Carrera was CUTV representative at the World Federation of Trade Unions and at the same time took on the delicate task of international relations officer for the National Liberation Armed Forces (FALN) in Europe which brought him into contact with revolutionaries from all over the world.

After supporting Hugo Chavez’s campaign for presidency in 1998, the PCV began to play an increasingly vocal role in Venezuelan politics.

In 2007 the party was invited by Chavez to join the new United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Carrera, however, opposed the amalgamation, stating at the time that he and other PCV members were “merely the custodians of our party.”

“We’ve got three generations of Venezuelans in our party who have lived through periods of clandestinity … and have experienced repression and difficulties in their careers because of their party membership,” he told Venezuelan media.

He was also a prolific writer on the Venezuelan left, contributing regularly to the party newspaper Tribuna Popular, and writing a weekly column in the Venezuelan newspaper La Razon (The Reason). He is the author of Bolivar From The Marxist Viewpoint.

Carrera leaves behind a party that is the largest supporter of the Bolivarian revolution outside the PSUV.

Although he and the PCV were generally supportive of former president Hugo Chavez, the party decided to retain its political independence.

It campaigned for Maduro’s election on April 14. However, it has taken a critical position on some PSUV decisions.

In the 2012 gubernatorial elections, the PCV rejected four PSUV candidates for state governorships in the states of Merida, Bolivar, Amazonas and Portuguesa where it ran its own candidates against the PSUV.

At a press conference the PCV’s trade union secretary Peter Eusse stated that the “best tribute we can pay to Jeronimo Carrera is our revolutionary determination and (our) fight against imperialism.

“We won’t have a minute of silence for Jeronimo, but a lifetime of struggle,” he concluded.

  • This note first appeared in Venezuelaanalysis.com

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