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Dictator Hugo Chavez to give up to $32 million/year to Livingstone

By Alek Boyd

London 20.02.07 | It finally came to be: the oil for propaganda agreement between dictator Hugo Chavez and Red Ken has been signed. In spite of all the criticism, in spite of the fact that London's poor are high net worth individuals next to the Maigualidas of Venezuela, in spite of Venezuela being a country with an alarmingly high proportion of undernourished children, in spite of having most of its 54% of poor scrapping by on less than $2/day, comrade Livingstone gladly accepted the oil subsidy that Chavez was offering. It was meant to be, to have expected otherwise was foolish for neither of the parties involved care one bit about the disenfranchised, they're just political cannon fodder or as Chavez's Minister of Planning Jorge Giordani said recently "the revolution can not survive without the poor."

Chavez is to give up to $32 million/year to Europe's richest city. In exchange he will get advice on transport, urban planning, traffic control, etc. [pls do not miss clauses 6.4 and 6.5]. Some may wonder why would dictator Chavez need to go this far, mind you what does he stand to gain politically from it, and the answer is propaganda. Ken Livingstone is the elected Mayor of London but he is also the [appointed?] director of the Venezuela Information Centre, a propaganda outfit operated by civil servants from City Hall's offices. In today's world there's no such thing as a free lunch. Unfortunately the UK does not have an equivalent to the US' Foreign Agent Registration Unit. For that reason interested parties will never be able to determine exactly how much does the propaganda joint in London has cost to Venezuelan taxpayers, as I have been able to do with the one operating in Washington DC. However the recently signed agreement provides an interesting starting point for future calculations: up to $32 million/year -equivalent to the yearly income of roughly 10,600 Venezuelan families. Not bad. Good old Joe Kennedy on the other side of the pond isn't getting as much, but then again this is one of the world's most expensive cities, hence the premium.

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