The Bolivarian revolutionary process is on the march – in spite of its “defeaters” as President Hugo Chavez would say – but it is also surrounded by danger. In spite of the difficulties that pursue it, every day the people’s creative thinking and the tenacious and intelligent way that Commander Chavez is showing the world that the possibilities of restarting on the road to the second independence is not just words.

The last few weeks have been full of counter-revolutionary mobilizations and actions, promoted by businessmen, the corrupt trade union aristocracy, top church leaders, the old parties that have been defeated in seven consecutive democratic elections and forces from outside the country. The media projects a false picture of a defeated revolution, of a frustrated president and an isolated government.

We are at a point that is full of attacks from the class enemy, nevertheless, it is something that is positive and shows that the revolution is going forward and is deepening. This enthusiasm of the oligarchy is positive because it has activated the people’s forces.

We have decided: if the class enemy was to applaud us, then we would be worried; but if the bourgeoisie condemns us or condemns the revolution, then that means that we are on the right road. While the oligarchy makes its counter-revolutionary moves, revolutionaries raise their commitment to the process and have expressed this in many ways.

The main support received by the counter-revolution comes from the United States, which historically has interfered a lot in the internal affairs of Venezuela. We have been firm in our position, not just in dealing with the U.S., but with all the countries of the world. We respect the sovereignty and the self-determination of all peoples, and ask that the same respect be given to us. It is now common to have U.S. government officials attack President Chavez.

Lately, Secretary of State Colin Powell said that he “deplored Chavez’ unorthodox democracy” and admitted that Washington considered its relationship with Caracas affected by an “irritating factor” – Chavez’ criticism of Bush’s war campaign and his visits to countries Bush said were part of an “axis of evil,” such as Iran, Iraq and Libya.

Deepening this course of opposition to U.S. hegemony in the region, the Venezuelan leader rejected the implementation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) for 2005 as proposed by George W. Bush and the presidents of the countries of the hemisphere at the Quebec summit in April of last year. He said that implementing the FTAA on that date “would be suicide for us, because unemployment would reach 90 percent, and it would bankrupt our small and middle size businesses and the farmers.”

The following day George Tenet, head of the CIA, arrived in the capital. He stated that he was very much concerned with the situation in Venezuela because it is the third largest provider of oil to the U.S. The spy chief put what’s happening in Caracas, the Colombian civil war and the social outburst in Argentina in the same bag. “Latin America is becoming more volatile” he said so as to justify his agency’s huge budget.

The “architecture” of these destabilizing plans is known because of previous historical actions. Following the logic of these previous attempts, the plan would be put into play from Washington by a Task Force composed of the State Department, and the Pentagon. The coordination and supervision would be left in charge of the Director of the National Security Council, who reports directly to the President.

Within the destabilizing alliance that wants to overthrow Hugo Chavez from power, there are two tendencies: one that plans for the long term and wants to destroy, together with the Bolivarian Project the hopes of a people for a profound change that is viable; the second tendency, with shorter time frame, wants the immediate overthrow of the president.

The State Department under the Bush administration is surely planning for the first option. The coup conspirators, both military and civilian, that one can observe in this country, are, obviously, part of the second option. Nevertheless, there can be a unity of both tendencies if the government were to weaken.

The success of the Bolivarian Revolution is of transcendental importance for all of Latin America, because Venezuela is a key country for the defeat of the FTAA and Plan Colombia, with which the United States is trying to annex the Greater Motherland in the year 2005. The time left to stabilize the revolution is dangerously short. The clock is at five minutes before midnight in the country of the Liberator – Simon Bolivar.

The author is International Relations Secretary for the Communist Party of Venezuela.