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Livingstone and Barreto: birds of a feather

By Aleksander Boyd

London 25.08.06 | Only a couple of days ago Venezuela was shocked by the hatred-filled spectacle given by Caracas' Metropolitan Mayor Juan Barreto. Not content with hurling abuse to elected Mayors of Chacao and Baruta for more than half an hour, Barreto allegedly shouted to the frenzied horde of chavistas that were applauding the show all along "kill those dogs." That's one of those remarks that makes it to posterity and defines the life of a public official. Now Mayor Barreto is to open a cultural event on 1 September in Trafalgar Square alongside Ken Livingstone, another Mayor that has had no qualms in making irrational remarks such as "I just long for the day I wake up and find that the Saudi royal family are swinging from lamp-posts..."

The event is called London Caracas: Caracas Londres. According to an email sent from a City Hall server ( "is a free music festival featuring bands from Latin American countries. It is being organised by the Mayor of London and the Mayor of Caracas, to highlight the growing links between the two cities and with Latin America more widely."

So dear readers, what's your guess: will Livingstone give rabble rouser Barreto the cold shoulder or will he embrace him as he did with Islamofundamentalist Yusuf al-Qaradawi? London seems more and more as an appropriate place to host events between hatemongers. They are all members of one big happy commune, aren't they?

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