When it comes to reporting on Venezuela–not a dime’s worth. Reuters is just as bad at hitting Latin America with the Stoopid Stick, as this Saul Hudson piece makes all too clear:
A popular mayor hoping to run for a top elected office in Venezuela protested a ban on his candidacy on Tuesday in a case that highlights opposition concerns over weakened democracy under President Hugo Chavez.
Leopoldo Lopez, 37, vows to stand for mayor of Caracas in November in nationwide elections for state and municipal posts, where a fragmented opposition hopes to loosen Chavez’s years-old grip on regional power centers.
But Venezuela’s top anti-corruption official has barred Lopez — and more than 200 others — from running on charges the Harvard graduate says authorities have trumped up to stop him winning a post that governs about 3 million people.
“We urge the Supreme Court … to be strong enough to show its independence and take a coherent, constitutional decision,” Lopez said as he led hundreds of supporters in a rally outside the country’s highest court seeking the ban to be overturned.
A social democrat with a politician’s ability to laugh and chat comfortably with both rich and poor, Lopez has been mayor of the wealthy Caracas municipality of Chacao for 8 years and now wants to govern the whole capital.
Which he never will unless he learns how to steal an election, ba-dump-bump.
Astute regular readers of this blog will probably have a fair idea of what the howlers in this snippet are, but for those new to NOTR, here we go again. Once more, with feeling:
Leopoldo Lopez is not “popular” anywhere else but in Chacao–probably because the vast majority of Caracas is populated not by the dissociated rich, but the very skeptical poor. He’s unpopular for other reasons, too–all of them criminal, some of them downright treasonous. And in the case of at least one recent example, downright violent.
Lopez is also not, by any stretch of the imagination, a “social democrat”. He’s a co-founder of Primero Justicia, a far-right party. And the party he’s with now, Un Nuevo Tiempo, is not by a long shot social-democratic, either, no matter what it claims (or its English Wikipedia page says). Again, it’s a party of the right.
He’s also not really comfortable with the poor–people from the wealthy parts of Eastern Caracas just plain aren’t. If they must associate with them (and they keep that to a minimum for reasons as obvious as the color of the respective skins), they prefer them hand-picked for photo-ops, same as BushCo would do in Katrina-decimated New Orleans. Even worse, he’s been known to use their neighborhoods for plotting crime. Safe to say that they’re even less comfortable with him than he is with them, and for reasons clear.
Also, let’s not forget that the candidate most likely to win the Metro Mayor seat…isn’t Leo. That would be a certain black man who used to be Chavecito’s education minister, is now a TV talk show host, and throughout it all, has remained popular with the above-mentioned po’ folks.
And of course, no mention by Saul Hudson of the real facts about the so-called “blacklist”. Here, let Francisco Dominguez of Dissident Voice clue you in.
BTW, here’s some interesting video blastage-from-the-pastage:
Seems that the same opposition now decrying the “antidemocratic” law that permits disqualification of candidates convicted of, or under investigation and prosecution for, crimes–once upon a time, supported it unanimously in the parliament. How soon they forget, these brave opposition “democrats”! Funny, though, how they only protest when it’s clear that their candidates are criminals who, even if permitted to run, would lose anyway. Talk about grasping straws…
But don’t expect Reuters to report that about the oppos’ Great White Hope in Caracas. They hate Chavez so much, they’ll take anything Prettyboy says at face value. They are grasping at straws, too.