Venezuela is at a crossroads. The right wing is desperate to halt the socialist revolution post Chavez, and has provoked a series of violent confrontations in which over 40 people have died. Today, President Maduro is having talks with the loser of last years presidential election, Henrique Capriles, in an attempt to curb the violence - but I'm sad to say I 'm not hopeful for the success of these talks.
It seems to me that the US government and the right wing elite see this moment in Venezuelan history as a turning point. A year on from Chavez's death feels to them like an easier time to attack his legacy. But the election of Maduro has proved that the public still favour a socialist economy, where the wealth of the nation is put back to work for the good of all, especially those who have historically been disadvantaged.
Capriles and those further to the right need to accept the will of the majority of the population, and try to work with the government to reduce crime and inflation, the two things that are wrecking the progress of the nation.
It is unlikely though that the US backed coup plotters will stop destabilising the country. Only last week 3 Air Force Generals were court martialled for their involvement in a plan to oust Maduro, and there is evidence that the US were connected to the plot.
In the meantime, keeping awareness of the situation in Venezuela is paramount. If the victories won for working people are reversed in the country, and the socialist government is thrown out, there is a real danger for the welfare of millions of people throughout Latin America, especially the poor. 'Chavismo' has enabled progressive politics to flourish well beyond the borders of Venezuela, just as the liberator Bolivar had a greater vision for the region. This vision must be protected and nourished, not destroyed by the narrow interests of the US and a small wealthy Venezuelan elite.