CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's socialist party is holding its first national convention since the death last year of President Hugo Chavez.
The congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela opened Saturday amid grumbling from the grassroots about top-down party leadership.
President Nicolas Maduro is expected to speak, but the real work will take place behind the scenes, with pragmatists and hard-liners battling to hammer out a vision for the coming year.
Hundreds of delegates will consider proposals from members all over the country, many of which concern the escalating economic crisis that has gripped the oil-rich country, provoking widespread shortages and soaring inflation.
The convention is the third of its kind since the party's formation in 2008.