Last week Alan Woods visited Caracas to attend the Second International Gathering in Solidarity with the Venezuelan Revolution. He spoke at several meetings, putting the Marxist case, mainly to audiences of workers and poor people – activists of the Bolivarian Movement and the main protagonists of the Venezuelan Revolution. "I also had the opportunity to meet and talk with the President of the Bolivarian Republic, Hugo Chavez. As a writer and Marxist historian I am used to writing about men and women who have made history. But it is not every day that one has the opportunity to observe a protagonist of the historical process at close quarters, to ask questions and to form an impression, not from newspaper reports but from personal experience."
A diplomatic crisis has opened up between Mexico and Cuba. Mexico's Vicente Fox government has demanded the recall of the Mexican ambassador from Havana and ordered the Cuban diplomats to leave. The response of the masses was anything but favourable. Thousands demonstrated in Mexico, while a million marched through Havana. This has deepened the political crisis in Mexico and further undermined Fox and his right wing PAN government.
In spite of the blatant fraud of the opposition, the decision has been taken to go ahead with the recall referendum in Venezuela. This has disappointed some layers of the Bolivarian movement and enraged others. Many have gone along with it out of their loyalty to Chavez. The decision is a serious mistake. Jorge Martin looks at the what the movement should do now.
A massive rally in Caracas by supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution on Sunday marked the beginning of the campaign for the recall referendum in Venezuela. This came after the announcement on Thursday, June 3, by the National Electoral Council (CNE), that the opposition had collected enough signatures to trigger the presidential recall referendum. On the same day, president Chavez accepted the decision and called on revolutionaries to wage what he described as the “Santa Ines” Battle and soundly defeat the counter-revolutionaries in the recall referendum.
In a packed mass meeting in the El Valle area of Caracas, the working people elected their own local Comando Maisanta as part of the struggle to defeat the opposition in the August 15 presidential recall referendum. This was an extraordinary gathering, which demonstrated the superiority of the democracy of working people and the enormous capacity of the revolutionary masses to create forms of organization which guarantee the necessary unity and discipline of the movement, based on democratic debate and decision-making.