Even before the National Election Council had announced the results of Sunday’s Constituent Assembly elections in Venezuela, the opposition and western imperialism had already declared there had been massive fraud and that they would not recognise the legitimacy of the Assembly. Since then, they have piled up pressure on all fronts. What is to be done?

The Venezuelan opposition, backed by Washington and Madrid, has launched an all out offensive to prevent Sunday's Constituent Assembly elections form going ahead. We stand firmly against this reactionary attempt which can only be defeated by revolutionary means.

On Friday 23rd June, the Canadian Marxist Journal Fightback’s, editorial board sat down to discuss with 2017 NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton. The transcript of that interview can be found here. Based upon that interview, and Ashton’s statements since the start of the campaign, Fightback has decided to support Ashton’s candidacy and encourage all socialists to do the same. A victory for Ashton would represent a victory for the left in Canada and opens up the possibility of the development of a movement analogous to those sparked by Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders.

Venezuela’s reactionary opposition had put all their weight behind a “consultation” which was supposed to show that an overwhelming majority of Venezuelans not only reject Maduro’s proposed Constituent Assembly, but also want the Army to intervene and the formation of a “national unity government”. Their mobilisation on the day was sizeable, but fell far short of their own expectations. The real news was the massive turnout, on the same day, for the official dry run of the Constituent Assembly elections, which was a show of strength for Chavismo

The Venezuelan opposition is stepping up its campaign with a “sovereign consultation” on Sunday July 16. The three questions asked in this consultation are about the legitimacy of the Constituent Assembly the government has called for, the need for the armed forces to intervene and remove the government and the formation of a so-called “government of national unity”. The opposition has announced that the consultation on July 16 will be the “zero hour” for a national, permanent and open ended “trancazo” (road blockades), until the “fall of the dictatorship”.

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