This thesis examines the use of history, historical narratives and the relation to Venezuelan historical consciousness in Libro Rojo, a publication of The Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). It consists of four parts: an introduction, a declaration of principles, statutes and finally what is called the programmatical bases (bases programaticas) of the party.
A starting point for this thesis is that this is an under prioritized area of research about the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela. It aims to show the centrality of history in these fundamental documents of the biggest left-wing party in Latin America.
The thesis finds that symbolically charged historical figures – mainly national icons of Venezuela´s struggle for national liberation - are mobilized to back up contemporary aspirations and influence public perception of what kind of future is possible and desirable. Libro Rojo structures the relationship between past, present and future in order to influence historical consciousness.
It also finds that Libro Rojo constructs a vision of socialism which aims to show that the ideas and actions of Venezuela´s symbolically charged historical figures are compatible with the ideas of 19th and 20th century western Marxism. An illustration of this is the reference to Peruvian Marxist José Carlos Mariáteguí and his saying that socialism on the American continent can neither be an imitation nor a copy of foreign models, but a heroic creation of the people. Furthermore in Libro Rojo, the ideas of liberation theology, Christianity as well as "all universal and humanist thought" are evoked as foundations for the contemporary aspirations of the PSUV.
The present is situated within a context of contemporary history in which themes such as the struggle of the peoples against neoliberalism and the threats to the survival of humanity due to climate changes, economic crisis and war are central. It describes a near future in which humanity will have a choice: between its salvation and flourishing through socialism, or its extinction through world capitalism.