Chávez Urged by Bishop to Listen to the People

CARACAS, Venezuela, SEPT. 30, 2002 ( The president of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference urged Hugo Chávez’s government to listen more intently to the people “so that the process of reconciliation planned over the last months will be successful.”

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Archbishop Baltazar Porras of Merida made his plea Saturday, adding, “It is necessary to hear everyone and not impose, because this is not the way of a democracy.” President Chávez survived a brief coup in April.

Regarding Chávez allies’ verbal attacks against him, Archbishop Porras said that “behind fanaticism there is only irrationality,” the newspaper El Nacional reported.

“We cannot continue to divide the country, converting it into two irreconcilable groups,” something that “makes no sense in a democratic state,” the archbishop added.

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