In his opening speech at the United Socialist Party (PSUV) Congress in 2009, Hugo Chávez invoked two major political references: Alfredo Maneiro and Vladimir Lenin.
A political theorist and former guerrilla, Maneiro stressed the need for «political efficacy and revolutionary character.» Addressing the ruling party members, Chávez draws on Maneiro to argue that a revolution needs to develop new ways of governing and doing politics.
From Lenin, Chávez quoted «The State and the Revolution» to explain that a socialist revolution must do away with the old state and the bourgeois order. In the Venezuelan case, that meant wresting control of key sectors from the bourgeoisie.
The former president’s warnings have turned out to be quite prescient, with the economic crisis and US sanctions leading to a resurgent protagonism for the private sector.