Morale is of vital importance in a revolution. The masses have demonstrated that they are prepared to fight to defend the revolution. How much more enthusiastically would they fight if they had the power in their hands? It is impossible to hold down an entire people, when the people is armed and mobilised. So the taking of power is the key. Either the greatest of victories or the most terrible of defeats – that is the choice before the Venezuelan revolution.

In Venezuela the revolutionary process has been overwhelmingly supported by the population in seven successive elections during the last 5 years. The so-called "democratic" opposition represents the interests of an oligarchy which for decades has controlled the natural resources of the country and does not want to renounce its privileges. With their power challenged, they've used the levers of the mass media at their disposal to propagate slanders and lies against Chavez and the Bolivarian movement. Their allies in America have followed suit. But not one of these falsehoods can stand when confronted by a few simple truths.

Brodzinsky's article ("Leftwing dictator or saviour of the poor: Chavez faces new challenge to his rule") fits into the pattern of half-truths and open lies that characterises the media coverage of the Bolivarian revolution. We expect this kind of thing from The Economist (which openly calls for "regime change") but not from the Guardian.We could not believe our eyes! We sent a letter to the Guardian (published on Thursday, May 25), but because this comes from a paper seen as "progressive" by many, we are providing a more detailed analysis herel.

This is the reply to a letter we received from an Irish supporter of the Hands Off Venezuela international solidarity campaign who points to a number of criticisms of Chavez and his policies that he found on a socialist web site. Jorge Martin replies to these points in order to clarify what is really happening in Venezuela.

The attitude to revolution is the acid test for revolutionaries. Yet surprisingly many of those who call themselves Marxists have proved organically incapable of understanding the Venezuelan revolution or intervening in it. Two years ago, when the attempted coup against the Chavez government was defeated by the revolutionary movement of the masses, the response of most of the Left internationally was a deafening silence. Now the ultra-left have suddenly been getting hot under the collar - not about the Venezuelan revolution, but about the apparent opportunism of the Marxist tendency, gathered around this web site. Alan Woods points out a few elementary points that to any serious Marxist would be ABC.

Alan Woods provides some very interesting insights into the processes taking place within the Venezuelan working class, the discussions on what kind of workers’ control is needed, on what is the next step facing the Revolution, and so on. His notes from his trip to Venezuela in April reveal a growing socialist consciousness among the Venezuelan masses. See also pictures from the visit.