The developing revolution in Venezuela has brought into sharp relief what the correct Marxist approach should be to this phenomenon. Unfortunately many who claim to be Marxists have revealed that they really have no understanding of the reall essence of Marxism. Alan Woods looks at the traditions of the movement going right back to Marx himself.

The Venezuelan revolution is at the crossroads. Having twice defeated the counterrevolution, the revolution is faced with a new and furious offensive on the part of the oligarchy and its imperialist backers. How can the revolution stop reaction? The only way is by completing the revolutionary process. The workers must take power.

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.