“There’s been a coup in Venezuela! Maduro has carried out a power-grab!” Just a few days before the 15th anniversary of the short lived coup against the democratically elected president Chavez (11-13 April, 2002), those who carried out that coup (the Venezuelan oligarchy, their masters in Washington and its lapdogs in Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Santiago de Chile and Lima, cheered on by the media wolf pack in Madrid and the US) are now shouting and screaming like hyenas against an alleged “self coup” by president Maduro.

The Bolivarian Revolution is at one of its lowest points since President Chávez’s electoral victory in 1998. On top of the defeat in the December 2015 National Assembly elections, the aggravation of the economic situation is impacting the mass of the working people—who are the base and support of the revolution. It is time to draw a serious balance sheet.

Last Thursday, the criminal courts of Monagas, Carabobo, Aragua and Apure states, among other states, annulled the collection of the 1% of signatures needed to activate a recall referendum, after they upheld claims of electoral fraud which were brought before them in relation to accusations of forgery and identity theft committed during the process. Such a judgement  means that the final step prior to the invocation of a recall referendum, the collection of the signatures of 20% of the electorate, is automatically suspended. The CNE (National Electoral Council) then proceeded to issue a statement in which the suspension of the collection of signatures was ordered across the country.

This thesis document was drafted, discussed, and approved by our members this past October 2015. Although it was written some months ago, it still remains valid. It reflects a correct understanding of the events that have taken place, and shows how our warnings were confirmed in the face of serious threats from the counterrevolution. We believe that the document serves as a tool in the debate that is developing within the ranks of the Chavista movement in general.

The assault against the Bolivarian revolution has intensified in the recent days and weeks. Editorials and front pages in US and Spanish newspapers are screaming about hunger in Venezuela and demanding the removal of the “dictatorial regime”. Ongoing scarcity problems have led to instances of looting. The right-wing opposition is attempting to trigger a presidential recall referendum, but is also threatening violent action and appealing to foreign powers, including in some case for military intervention. What is really happening in Venezuela and how can these threats be faced?

With 53% of the votes the Venezuelan opposition has managed to secure 112 seats in the National Assembly. This gives them a sweeping two third majority and wide ranging powers. Drunk with victory and seething with revenge, they have started to announce plans to reverse every single one of the gains of the Bolivarian revolution. This has provoked ferment amongst the revolutionary rank and file, which at the same time is directing part of their anger at bureaucrats and reformists within its own ranks.

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