After nearly 70 years of political activism, the president of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) Jerónimo Carrera died today.
His grandson, Ulysses Carrera told Venezuelan media that he died in his home early this morning of “natural causes”.
Via twitter, President Nicolas Maduro extended his “heartfelt condolences” to Carrera's family and friends, as well as all his “PCV comrades”.
His funeral was held at 2pm today at the PCV national headquarters in Caracas.
A Lifelong Activist
Born in the Venezuelan city of Cumana in 1922, Carrera became politically active just after World War II.
He was an active unionist, and co-founded the Confederation of Workers of Venezuela and the United Workers of Venezuela.
In 1971 he became a member of the PCV Central Committee. Throughout much of his political life, Carrera was working in a party that was often suppressed by Venezuelan governments.
After supporting 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 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 clandestine [activity]...and have experienced repression and difficulties in their careers because of their party membership,” he told Venezuelan media. Carrera himself was imprisoned twice during his political career.
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.
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, his party chose not to join the PSUV; prefering instead to retain political independence.
The PCV remains the second largest backer of Maduro, and campaigned for his election on April 14. However, the party has taken a critical position on some PSUV decisions. In the 2012 gubernatorial elections, the PCV rejected four PSUV candidates for several state governorships. In the states of Merida, Bolivar, Amazonas and Portuguesa, PCV candidates ran against the PSUV.
In a press conference this morning, the PCV's union secretary Peter Eusse stated that the “best tribute we can pay to Jerónimo Carrera is our revolutionary determination and [our] fight against imperialism.”
“We won't have a minute of silence for Jerónimo, but a lifetime of struggle!”