Adamant: Hardest metal
Thursday, July 10, 2003

When there's trust and some reasonable level of stability and continuity

Venezuela's Electronic News
Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2003
By: A. Pharma

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 12:09:10 -0400
From: A. Pharma
Subject: Commentary to the interaction between Mr, Coronel & others

Dear Editor: Any plan or road-map can only function when there is trust and some reasonable level of stability and continuity. Especially in between elections.

This trust does not exist and has not existed in Venezuela for a long time.

Even before Black Friday (at the beginning of the 80s), the level of distrust has been extremely high. Accion Democratica (AD) does not trust the Christian Socialists (Copei) and vice-versa and the general population does not trust either one.

Hate ... a facet of distrust ... has always been there.

As the distrust is generalized, any project (government or industrial) lasting longer than one term fails from the start for the following reason:

Because of distrust of the previous government ... all players in key and not so key positions are fired and new ones hired.

The first year the new government is busy consolidating its position ... previous contracts are cancelled and new ones made.

The next few years show a modicum of stability but more distrust as obligations and promises cannot be met.

The last year almost everything stops ... next year they lose their job, so why continue?

This not only happens in Venezuela, but happens in most Latin American countries.

One step in the right direction would be to keep key and not-so-key players in their positions between elections.

For example: Is it necessary to change Customs personnel when government changes hands? Not really, they're there to perform a function, a job. If they do their job well, why change them? They have, after all, a certain amount of experience.

Another example: Is it necessary to change not-so-key personnel such as clerks when government changes hands? Again, the answer is no. These people know their jobs and very likely the status of any unfinished business ... they are assets, not liabilities.

Most perfectly normal human beings look for some form of economic stability. These same perfectly normal human beings will have very good incentive for dislike and hate when displaced from their positions for such reasons as political change.

Even though the road-map as mentioned by Mr. Coronel is a move in the right direction, it suffers from three big defects.

One: It cannot be accomplished within one term.

Two: It makes no provisions, contractual or other, to prevent abuses by the same people that made the road-map ... that makes it suspect.

Three: It does not attempt to create an atmosphere of trust.

A. Pharma

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