The Movement for Socialism (Spanish: Movimiento al Socialismo, or Spanish: 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.
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.
Presidential candidates supported
elections where MAS backed the winning candidate shown in bold
- 1973 election: José Vicente Rangel (4.26%)
- 1978 election: José Vicente Rangel (5.18%)
- 1983 election: Teodoro Petkoff (4.17%)
- 1988 election: Teodoro Petkoff (2.71%)
- 1993 election: Rafael Caldera (independent, backed by a coalition of anti-COPEI/Acción Democrática parties, MAS contributing 10.59% of vote)
- 1998 election: Hugo Chávez (Fifth Republic Movement candidate, MAS contributing 9.00%)
- 2000 election: Hugo Chávez (Fifth Republic Movement candidate, MAS contributing 8.70%)
- 2006 election: Manuel Rosales (A New Era candidate, MAS contributing 0.61%)
- Douglas Bravo and his FALN guerilla faction had been expelled from the Communist Party in 1965, forming the Party of Venezuelan Revolution.
- 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