Once again the Venezuelan bourgeoisie is trying to put an end to the revolutionary process which has opened up in Venezuela. After the failure of the coup on April 13, a new coup is being openly and shamelessly prepared by the oligarchy with the backing of US imperialism. They have now called for an indefinite bosses' lock out until Chavez and his government resign. The working class must go on the offensive! Against the bosses' lock-out, workers' control of the factories!

As Alan Woods had just finished writing this article, we received a letter from a Venezuelan Marxist commenting on yesterday's article by Emilia Lucena and we are publishing extracts from it relating to the present situation, followed by comments by Alan Woods.

The reports from Venezuela indicate a sharpening of the struggle between the contending forces.The revolutionary camp must be on its guard against provocateurs who have undoubtedly infiltrated themselves into the mass movement, with a view to causing disorder and panic. Their aim is to drag the mass movement into futile armed conflicts that can end with a large number of casualties. This is the main aim of the counterrevolutionaries. That is why the ideas of "foquism" and individual terrorism are so harmful to the movement. The groups that advocate such tactics are very easily infiltrated by the police and secret services and manipulated for sinister purposes. It is necessary to firmly oppose all adventurist tactics that put the whole movement at risk. The way to defeat the counterrevolution is not through individual shoot-outs but through the actions of the masses themselves.

If we were to believe the information we get from the mass media internationally, we would get the impression that in Venezuela there has been a general strike for the last one and a half months and that president Chavez is an extremely unpopular and authoritarian ruler who is about to be overthrown in a mass popular revolt. Nothing could be further from the truth. The working class of Venezuela is not taking part in any general strike. What is taking place is a bosses' lock out.

On Thursday February 20 at midnight, the Venezuelan police arrested the president of the bosses’ organisation Fedecamaras Carlos Fernandez, accused of five different charges: betrayal to the fatherland, rebellion, instigation to crime, association to commit crime, and devastation. This action of the justice system reflects clearly the pressure of the revolutionary movement and the new balance of forces after the complete failure of the attempted coup.

Hundreds of thousands gathered in Bolivar Avenue, Caracas, on April 13 to commemorate the first anniversary of the popular uprising that defeated the reactionary coup of April 11, 2002. The different events that have been taking place a year after the coup give us a clear picture of the current balance of forces between the classes in Venezuela.

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