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Saturday, July 5, 2003

Ambassador tells The Washington Post that Chavez Frias is committed to democracy in Venezuela

Venezuela's Electronic News
Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2003
By: David Coleman

Venezuela's Ambassador to Washington, Bernardo Alvarez Herrera has told the Washington Post that President Hugo Chavez Frias "has no trepidation about allowing the people to decide through a recall referendum who their President should be ... he has never tried to restrict the conditions of the referendum, and he has followed the guidelines for it outlined in Venezuela's Constitution."

Alvarez Herrera was commenting a June 12 Washington Post editorial "A vote on Mr. Chavez" which had said that "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez continues to behave as if he has no intention of giving up his attempt to push through a quasi-totalitarian, quasi-socialist 'revolution,' regardless of what his people may want."

The Washington Post mentioned "various maneuvers" to illustrate Mr. Chavez' supposed reluctance to help those who oppose his government gather the signatures they need to trigger a recall referendum.

Alvarez Herrera adds: "But if the opposition fails to attract the number of signatures the Constitution requires, it won't be the fault of the Constitution ... or of Mr. Chavez ... implying that he should do more to help the opposition is like asking California Governor Gray Davis to help Republicans with their recall petition in that state."

"The Chavez Frias administration is committed to democracy in Venezuela ... many factors are involved in our country's turmoil; The Washington Post's simplistic and unreasoned argument does a disservice to its readership and to democracy itself."

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