Venezuela's National Electoral Council released the result of yesterday's recall referendum on the government of President Hugo Chávez Frias. It was revealed that the opposition failed to obtain more votes than those who wanted Chavez to stay on as President. Even so, the opposition has refused to recognize the result and has charged that the "no" victory was based on electoral fraud. But does the result mean the opposition has suffered a decisive defeat? The internal and external enemies of the Venezuelan revolution cannot be reconciled by elections, referendums and negotiations. They will only be satisfied when the revolution is defeated.

We have just received the following declaration of the comrades of the Venezuelan Revolutionary Marxist Current (CMR), which we are pleased to republish in English and Spanish for our readers’ information. It is, in effect, a transitional programme that, taking its starting point from the concrete conditions of the Venezuelan revolution, explains what steps are necessary to build upon the victory in the referendum, carry the revolution forward and pose the question of workers’ power and socialism.

On Sunday, October 31, millions of Venezuelans will go to the polls to elect governors of the country’s 24 states and mayors for 337 municipal councils. Coming after the massive victory of the Bolivarian movement in defeating the presidential recall referendum on August 15, this election offers the possibility for the Bolivarian movement to take control of some key states and local councils.

Partial results of this weekend’s local elections in Venezuela indicate a dramatic turnaround in many states. Former opposition strongholds have been won by Bolivarian candidates. This confirms the solid support for Chavez that was clear to all in the August 15 recall referendum. Capitalism could be overthrown very easily in these conditions, but decisive action needs to be taken now.

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