| Para estar incluido en la lista de los beneficiarios de la chequera de Chávez, hay que ser íntimo o en su defecto ser un tonto útil.|
February 21, 2007
Venezuela on Tuesday signed a politically-contentious agreement to grant London a discount on oil for bus fuel worth up to $32m a year.
Ken Livingstone, the UK capital's mayor, said that the 20 per cent price cut came with the condition that it would be used to furnish poor Londoners with half-prize bus and tram travel. In return the controversial Labour mayor will dispatch his chief transport commissioner in April to set up an office in Caracas to share with the Venezuelan capital London's expertise in traffic management and urban planning.
Mr Livingstone, who on Monday extended London's congestion charge to the west of the city, calculates the Venezuelan oil scheme could benefit 250,000 people currently receiving income support. "This arises on the suggestion of President Hugo Chavez and builds on the work his government is doing around the world in tackling the problems of poverty," he said. The suggestion was made during last year's unofficial visit to London by Venezuela's firebrand leader, whose "Bolivarian revolution" has included funnelling cheap oil to allies and to poor communities from Bolivia to the Bronx.
Richard Barnes, deputy leader of the Conservative group in the Greater London Assembly, said: "For the mayor to develop a foreign policy of his own is a nonsense. We are a G8 [Group of Eight] capital city and we are getting
Nicolas Maduro, Venezuelan foreign minister, defended the move as part of attempts to create "a multipolar world based on solidarity".