For all revolutionaries it is perfectly clear that 2012 will be a defining year of important challenges. Currently, the Bolivarian revolution is at a cross-road. Either we radicalise the revolution and we deepen its changes, or the reformist politics which seek to simply regulate capitalism, as opposed to eliminating it, could lead the revolution to suffer a dangerous defeat in both the long and medium term.

On Sunday February the 12, the long-awaited opposition primary elections took place in order to select the candidate who will face Hugo Chavez in the presidential elections due for October this year. Cápriles Radonski, the present governor of Miranda state won a clear victory with 62% of the vote, compared to only 28.9% for his contender Pablo Perez, present governor of Zulia state.

On 15 May 2010, Elio Sayago, a revolutionary activist with a long history of struggle, was named worker-president of CVG Alcasa by [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez, with the explicit order to implement Worker Control and the Socialist Guyana Plan. As the comrade relates in this interview, his management has been the victim of a series of bureaucratic traps; from the violent seizure of the company’s front gates, to manoeuvres aimed at unduly removing him from his post.

At half past one in the morning, the results from the trade union elections at SIDOR were announced, the huge iron and steel plant in the city of Puerto Ordaz (Guayana, Edo. Bolivar). In a competition characterised by a hard-fought margin amongst the candidates, José Luís Hernández of the Revolutionary Orinoco Movement was re-elected as the president of SUTISS (The Union of Workers in the Iron and Steel Sector). 

My visit to Venezuela at the end of June coincided with the speculation, rumours and finally announcements about the health of Hugo Chavez. This incident revealed a number of important questions about the Venezuelan revolution, the role that President Chavez plays in it and the character of the counter-revolutionary opposition.

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