Movement for Socialism (Venezuela)

Movement for Socialism (Venezuela)
Movement for Socialism
Movimiento al Socialismo
Leader Leopoldo Puchi
Founded 1971
Headquarters Caracas
Ideology Social Democracy
Political position Center-left
International affiliation Socialist International
Seats in the National Assembly
1 / 165
Politics of Venezuela
Political parties

Movement for Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo) is a center-left political party in Venezuela.



The Movement for Socialism (Spanish: Movimiento al Socialismo, or MAS) is a social-democratic political party in Venezuela. MAS was founded in 1971 by a faction of the Communist Party of Venezuela, with a view to emphasising a socialist message. Initially led by Teodoro Petkoff, its first congress was held on January 14, 1971. In 1988 another left-wing party, the Movement of the Revolutionary Left, merged with MAS.

In the 1970s to the 1990s, members of MAS hoped that the party would become the third largest political force, challenging the dominant Social Christian and Democratic Action parties. However, the party often won less than 5% of the vote. At the 1993 election it supported the National Convergence coalition which successfully backed Rafael Caldera, contributing 10.59% of the vote, a third of Caldera's total. At the parliamentary elections the same year it achieved a high water mark of 5 Senators and 24 Deputies.

1983 MAS election poster, with presidential candidate Teodoro Petkoff

MAS initially supported the government of Hugo Chávez in 1998. Petkoff disagreed with this decision and left the party. Disagreements between MAS and Chávez subsequently emerged, and MAS joined the opposition.

In the legislative elections of 30 July 2000, the party won 21 out of 165 seats in the National Assembly. Its current leaders include Leopoldo Puchi, Felipe Mújica and Carlos Tablante.

In the period since 1989, when state governors have been directly elected, the party has won state governorships in Delta Amacuro, Lara, Portuguesa, Sucre (Ramón Martínez) and Zulia.

Presidential candidates supported

Elections where MAS backed the winning candidate shown in bold

See also

  • Douglas Bravo and his FALN guerilla faction had been expelled from the Communist Party in 1965, forming the Party of Venezuelan Revolution.

Further reading

  • Venezuela's Movimiento al Socialismo: From Guerrilla Defeat to Innovative Politics by Steve Ellner. [Reviews: by Jennifer L. McCoy in Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 31, No. 4 (Winter, 1989), pp. 243-245; by John D. Martz in The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 69, No. 1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 142-143]
  • Ellner, Steve (1986), "The MAS Party in Venezuela", Latin American Perspectives