As was to be predicted, London’s Financial Times reacted negatively to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s announcement of a speeding up of land reform. We did not expect less from the FT, a paper that has always unashamedly defended the interests of capital. However, what we did not expect was for the FT to argue that the “best way to address rural poverty”, was for businesses to “pay decent wages and guarantee good working conditions for its workers”!

The oil supply to the US from Venezuela has been cut once in recent years. The reason for this cut was the bosses’ lockout at Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) that took place at the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003. Now the recent trip of President Chavez to China has made top ranking members of the US administration uneasy.

The dispute between Venezuela and Colombia over the kidnapping of a FARC leader in Caracas continues and threatens to involve other Latin American countries. It is becoming increasingly clear that this incident is part of a renewed offensive by Washington against Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution.

Dramatic events are unfolding in Venezuela. Although the nationalisation of Venepal in itself it does not yet mean a qualitative change in the class nature of the Venezuelan Revolution, this bold measure certainly signifies a step in the right direction. It indicates that the working class is intervening in the Revolution with increasing determination, pressing for its independent class interests, demanding a break with capitalism and pushing the Revolution forwards.