December 3, 2003

Greg Wilpert writes...

..a reasonable, if somewhat wishfully thought-out, government-friendly essay in Venezuela Analysis that, nevertheless, contains some valid points.

In my email to him, I called on Greg to call on his side to follow whatever decision CNE might choose to make.

The following exchange is the result:

> > Francisco: Should chavismo pledge now to support any CNE
> > decision with regards to the referendum?
> Greg: Of course Chavistas should do this and I've heard them say that they
> would many times. Chavez, Vicente Rangel, Ismael Garcia, William Lara,
> they have all said that they would respect the CNE's decision, no matter
> what it is. I have not, however, heard anyone from the opposition say
> this. I could be wrong, since I might not listen to opposition
> pronouncements as much as Chavista pronouncements (just as you
> apparently don't listen to Chavistas as much as the opposition).
> > Francisco: For my part, I have spent 2
> > years badgering the leaders of "my side" to accept the rulings of
> > institutions, even flawed ones. Shouldn't your side do the same?
> Greg: I'm glad to hear that you have done so and respect you for that. Also, I
> firmly believe that Chavistas should respect the decisions of all
> institutions that make decisions against them and have no problems with
> reminding them when they should (though, higher level Chavistas probably
> hear me much less than higher level opposition folks hear you).

Francisco: Isn't this just the point, Greg? Your views don't really have a chance of affecting policy on your side because policy on your side is decided autocratically and communicated vertically, a single vector running from Chavez to everyone else. On my side, at least we discuss things, and we recognize no single ultimate arbiter of the truth...which approach strikes you as more democratic?