The fact that the main Venezuelan opposition parties have decided to boycott the December 10 municipal elections has opened the space for candidates representing the revolutionary wing of the Bolivarian movement to stand against official hand picked candidates from the ruling PSUV party. The bureaucracy and the state have responded by using all sorts of tricks to prevent them from running. The campaigns of Eduardo Samán in Caracas and Angel Prado in Simón Planas (Lara) have brought out the simmering contradictions within chavismo.

Last month the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (“PSUV”) won a decisive electoral victory in the face of an extremely difficult economic and political situation. However, despite temporarily stabilising the political situation in Venezuela, this victory has done nothing on its own to alleviate the growing tensions in Venezuela. Meanwhile, the pressures of inflation and the shortage of goods which have been weighing heavily on the masses for several years require an urgent solution.

The fascist bourgeois opposition, with the support of North American and European imperialism, threatens to crush the Venezuelan revolution and to wreck its achievements. The fascist attacks, in working-class neighbourhoods and against Chavista, are a taste of what is to come if the opposition takes power. This ultra-reactionary opposition must be defeated now, and only the workers’ revolutionary initiative can achieve this.

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?

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