If you go to Venezuelanalysis.com - a brilliant source of news regarding venezuela - you will be able to see pictures of masses of people dressed in red at a rally to launch Chavez's reelection campaign. The election scheduled for December 2006 will - in my opinion mark a watershed both in Venezuelan politics and in terms of how the left relates to Chavez.
Not that long ago a friend at a party told me that our attitude to Chavez should be to support his fightback against imperialism while constantly reminding the masses that he will betray them. I of course feel less confident than this friend of mine in my ability to predict the future. I don't 'know' that Chavez (who some clearly see as the bourgious democratic, proletarian bonapartist devil worshiping puppet of capitalist free masonry) will betray the poor. By the time he is re elected, however, the rhetoric from Chavista moderates about the need to consolidate his position will be starting to wear thin, and then more than ever, we on the left, as well the people of Venezuela will have an absolute right to expect his socialist rhetoric to translate into the real transformation of society.