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John says: "I think it is correct to characterize the regime there as 

Chavez rose to power based on the support of a layer of mid and lower level
military officers. He never had the support of the Venezuelan capitalist
class, but neither was he based on the organizations of the working class.
In other words, he hovered above or between the classes."

Roberts doesn't seem to make any political characterizations, but does throw 
his economist weight behind the undermining of the Maduro administration all 
under the framework of a "discussion" not of Maduro's capitalsit machinations 
but on the event of the Constituuent Assembly. Reimann follows suit, not 
discussing the Constituent Assembly but whether Maduro is revolutionary (he's 
not) and the capitalist nature of his government (more aptly The government of 
which he is president).
It may sound all revolutionary to criticize Maduro and his ostensible 
"bonapartist regime". Indeed, it is an accurate appraisal to state that the 
present Chavista-based government is a capitalist state resting on its support 
by the military and feigning alliance with workers and the oppressed.

However, NONE of that is really the point. What of the Constituent Assembly as 
an answer to the rightist movement of the bosses seeking hegemony within the 
present government? What should working people, and revolutionaries, do. Right 
now? Oppose the Constituent Assembly because it isn't creating "dual power" or 
doing some other "more revolutionary" thing?

In truth, it is fairly safe to "characterize" Maduro and even critically 
support his government against imperialist and rightwing attempts to undermine 
it. But what does the Constituent Assembly represent, not for Maduro or the 
right wing, but for the masses of Venezuela? Are we to arrive at some "sideline 
armchair quarterbacking" to criticize an effort that at the least seeks to find 
representation in government for the masses? Should revolutionaries revert to 
the time-honored litmus-testing about how this particular "answer" to right 
wing and imperialist attack simply isn't good enough for "our support"? Or, 
should revolutionaries seek to use this event of constituent assembly to press 
forward stronger, more democratic, economic, and political mobilzations of the 
masses in their (our) interests? What is happening in Venezuela is not some 
"lesser-evilism" electoral campaign but a protracted struggle in which the 
masses are indeed marginalized by the capitalist class And by the Chavi
 sta government and military. I see the Constituent Assembly as an avenue to 
pursue political efforts at mobilizing the masses. They must be mobilized, 
however, For Something. Either some idealistic notion of a (non-existent 
currently) "workers and people's government" , the Chavista government or the 
Capriles rightist movement to undermine the Chavistas. Working people do not 
have the "luxury" to choose and revolutionaries should not be so arrogant--and 
treacherous--as to have an  uncategorical answer.
We Need To Support the Constituent Assembly AND, to the extent that Maduro and 
his ilk support it, we need to stand against imperialism and their agents in 
Venezuela as they try to engage an Allende-like coup.

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