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.
Update: I have just been interviewed by ITV London News which will air my views on the 6 o’clock News. With the benefit of hindsight I reckon I could have been clearer in terms of pointing out the bit about “…this agreement shall not and is not intended to be construed as an agreement for services” as established in clause 6.4, which serves to prove the point that this is nothing but a sham that will not benefit Venezuelans in any way.