Monday, July 16, 2007

Not everything was soccer at the Copa América

I have been reading a little bit about the Copa América celebrated in Venezuela last week, a lot of things have been said like the tickets were monopolized and incredible hard to find for the citizens and also the conditions of the newly built stadiums were not totally completed, things about the organization, etc... honestly, nothing too extraordinary for our Venezuelan idiosyncrasy since, well, we are very far from been anal and organized like for example, Germans can be. Unfortunately, since I really don't follow soccer that much, only a few of the games were Brazil played, my favorite team (Venezuela is not a soccer country, it's a baseball country, although we do have a soccer team that has it very hard to classify for anything -they have to play against the monsters of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay- etc) and since I live on a galaxy far, far away from Venezuela, I really didn't know what happened that much inside the Copa... hence, my silence about it.

But, one thing I saw on the news this morning I want to point out that shows the blatant abuse one more time, mafiosi-ganster-gang-member style, of a Chavista official towards a private citizen.

This time, the abuser, is none other that Juan Barreto, Mayor of the metropolitan area of Caracas since 2004. The way he climbed into politics and was elected into this position are very questionable. The guy was elected on an electoral process that was controlled ONLY by Chavistas, that is, members of Barreto (and Chavez) same political party. Obviously, he won, like many other Chavistas like Barreto have climbed civil servant positions without having the real vote of the citizens but by controlling the electoral council and the electoral voting machines "smartmatic". Anyone who likes to read about mafia, organized crime and gangs knows exactly what I am talking about.

Barreto on the right. On the left, the Venezuelan version of Chancellor Palpatine, Jose Vicente Rangel.

Barreto is known for his beastly attitudes, this guys is certainly one of the most disgusting members of the Chavismo. He spit on Mayor Capriles-Radonski on a meeting of Mayors on October, 2006. But, there is more, he went against a female reporter like this, (see video below) (scroll to minute 1:52 to see the Mayor and the Chavista horde against the reporter), no words to describe this irrational and so resented behavior of this character. How Venezuela created people like him is the question we all should ask to ourselves.

Well, the incident with this gang member was on one of the semi-final games, between Uruguay and Mexico.

Video 1

Video 2

In this videos you can watch clips of what happened. On the first one, The reporter from Globovision is asking the mayor on the phone what really happened. And he said he was very happy, talking to the people, receiving kisses from the women in the public while he arrived (yeah right, he is very famous in Venezuela for joking publicly calling woman the only animal who bleed once a month and doesn't die, among other things, now you tell me what woman will blow kisses to this guy who, besides looking like Jabba The Hut, is clearly an open misogynist), people telling "I love you" and things like that. Funny thing is that you can hear on the clip people yelling on the back: "libertad, libertad". Then, according to the Mayor he heard a mentada de madre towards him. A mentada de madre is when somebody saying something like "el coño de tu madre". Spanish say "la puta que te parió", a little bit more explicit. In other words somebody is yelling to you that you are a SOB. To this, the official, turned himself to the guy who he tough yelled at him, went towards him, took of his cap with his hand, slapped his face (What's up with this guy slapping the face of another one? Touché? Did I miss the telenovela in which he was playing Hyacinth Bucket?!) and tried to take his cell phone (where he was talking pictures of Barreto) and then his bodyguard also went into the hands pushing the citizen out. You actually can see it on the video the bodyguard hitting the guy. Now, Barreto say that he didn't do anything to him but that he went nicely to ask him what was his problem, why he was insulting him and that the guy, who is a college professor by the way, punched him first.

In the second video you can tell that Barreto is lying because you can hear two witnesses, one from Uruguay and another from Mexico telling what they saw. The Mexican guy, by the way, was hit on his head by the repressive thugs. The reporter asked the professor what happened, the professor say that the crowd actually prevented the guards to take him out to the wishes of Barreto who, acting like The Pharaoh, asked them to take him out of the stadium immediately! The reporter then asks back the mayor what he says about this, and the mayor hangs off the phone.

The Uruguayan witness said that he is a reporter too, that he doesn't know who is this guy but that he saw a group of police who he though were coming to make peace but he was surprised when he saw the police coming ALSO to hit the professor. He said Barreto and the police behaved like patoteros (gang members). The Mexican said that he was scared because he was hit and he was told that they were waiting for him at the exit, he is asking on the TV for security, that he only came to Venezuela to enjoy a soccer game and to enjoy the country and that this abusive attitudes from the government were very unfortunate.

Now, this is on public, international TV, imagine what happens when the international cameras are not around.

Students who were protesting outside the stadium were taking on custody and released yesterday.

The professor who was hit by Barreto said that he wanted to pointed two things, one, the abuse of an official to a citizen, hitting him, and secondly, the power of the citizen, in this case the crowd, who prevented the guards to take the professor away, to the orders of the mayor. Some people were cheering "Valiente, valiente" (valiant) to the professor at the time of the incident.


Note: Daniel also posted a note on this event.

Note 2: Miguel have the account on what happened outside with the students. 4 brothers decided to paint their hand in white (the simbol of the student protests) and hand in some sheet of paper saying something like "We want a fair game for Venezuela", they were taken into custody and charged with "incitation of hatred". But, as Daniel pointed out, surely what happened inside with the Mayor slapping on the face of one citizen just because doesn't incite hatred... uhmmm. This news won't stop here, this will bring noise.

No comments: