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Comuna Under Construction (Dir: Dario Azzellini & Oliver Ressler 2010) is an excellent new documentary on the exciting democratic process involving consejos comunales (communal councils) in Venezuela.

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We travelled to Caracas in July 2010 to see how the Bolivarian revolution was progressing. Of everything we saw, we found the degree of community level organisation the most impressive. Since 2006, thousands of communal councils have been set up by Venezuelans.  The size of the communal councils can range from 150 families in cities to 10 families in rural areas. Following the tradition of social movements in Venezuela, communal councils are set up to deal with local problems such as schools, roads and cultural-political activities.

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On September 26 Venezuelans will go to the polls again, this time to elect 167 deputies to the National Assembly, as well as 12 representatives to the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino). Since 1998, when president Chávez was elected, the Venezuelan people have been called to the polls on 15 different local, regional, national, presidential elections and referenda. Contrary to what the media would have you believe, the Venezuelan people have expressed themselves democratically and they have given overwhelming support to the Bolivarian revolution.

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Real News Network senior editor, Paul Jay, interviews Gregory Wilpert on the Venezuelan elections. Video and transcript

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A new edition of the Hands Off Venezuela newsletter has been produced in relation to the developing crisis between the two sister countries, Colombia and Venezuela.

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