Friday, June 16, 2006

Just a fine upstanding citizen and mayor - NOT 

Recently it was announced that the mayor of the wealthy Chacao district of Caracas was possibly going to be banned from holding any government position for 3 years due to his (and his mother) taking money from the state oil company, PDVSA, and giving it to their political party, Primero Justicia. Quite ironic that these people were apparently ripping off money from PDVSA, which the opposition would have us believe was almost virginal with respect to corruption when they were running it, and gave it to the party of eastern Caracas rich kids, Primero Justicia, which fancies itself a "good government" party.

Predictably, this was decried by the opposition as an outrageous attack against Mr. Lopez. In the oppositions view he is a fine young mayor who isn't capable of doing anything inappropriate.


Well, maybe this will jog their memories and help them recall some of what Mr. Lopez has been up to since becoming mayor. These pictures are from protests in 2004 against the G-15 summit which was taking place in Caracas:

Mr. Lopez is the person on the left. Note his friends on the right, one carrying a slingshot (I don't know about you but I never go to any demonstration without my slingshot) and the other carrying rocks and apparently taunting people with them. Mr. Lopez seems quite unperturbed even though one would think as a mayor he would have some responsibility for maintaining public order.

Here he is trotting through some tear gas, probably indicating he is somewhere he isn't supposed to be, with his handy gas mask (again I would never think of going out to peacefully protest without my gasmask). Can't you just see Mike Bloomberg doing this outside the Democratic National Convention at Madison Square Garden - people expect their mayors to be the first to man the barricades.

Here are some fellow Primero Justicia members exercising their right to peacefully protest. I guess these bored yuppies couldn't think of anything better to do than shoot projectiles at the police. I'm sure it must be quite entertaining.

That this man is Mayor of Chacao and not in jail shows that Chavez's Venezuela is free to a fault. It could even be said it suffers from too little repression, or at least too little law and order.


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