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Ken Livingstone: "The Venezuelan human rights record is better than that of the US and UK."

By Aleksander Boyd

London 13.09.06 | London's Mayor Ken Livingstone was heavily criticised today for taking part in an oil for propaganda programme that aims at improving the image of the Venezuelan caudillo in London. By resorting to an advertising campaign that shall be plastered all over London's bus fleet Livingstone is returning the favour to his communist comrade. Both Chavez and Livingstone want to capitalize politically on the exchange. However the most shocking aspect of it all is this remark by the Mayor "The Venezuelan human rights record is better than that of the US and UK."

In his capacity of director of the Venezuela Information Centre -a propaganda outlet in favour of Chavez- Livingstone seems blisfully unaware of the reports produced by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Livingstone's deeply rooted hatred towards the Bush and Blair administrations shines through.

A Chavez sycophant, Livingstone has expressed in the past that there are many things to be learned from the Bolivarian revolution. Surely disrespect for human rights tenets must be one of those things given the wanton disregard that the Mayor has shown towards ethnic minorities and political opponents.

The oil deal, to be finished in the next three months according to Livingstone, will benefit Venezuela. It remains a contradiction that Venezuela, whose poverty levels can be compared to some Sub-Saharan countries, can in any manner afford to subsidise London, which according to Livingstone is the richest city in Europe.

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