Former London mayor is Venezuela’s town-planning adviser

August 28th, 2008 - 7:16 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 28 (Xinhua) Former London mayor Ken Livingstone will act as an adviser to the Venezuelan government in refurbishing the country’s capital, Caracas. Livingstone, who has long been a supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, will advise officials in Caracas on urban planning, the BBC reported Thursday.

Following a meeting with Chavez in Caracas Wednesday, Livingstone said he was “proud and honoured” to participate in the city’s transformation.

In February 2007, Livingstone had approved a deal that would provide cheap Venezuelan fuel for London’s buses, helping some 250,000 Londoners to travel for less.

In return, the mayor was to offer Caracas advice on municipal transport, environmental issues, waste management and tourism, said the report.

However, the deal was cancelled by Livingstone’s successor Boris Johnson after he took office in May.

Johnson said “he did not want to be on the payroll of Hugo Chavez and did not believe a poor South American country should be subsidizing one of the wealthiest cities in the world,” according to a spokesman for the mayor.

After his meeting with Chavez, Livingstone said he was glad that Venezuela would now get the “advice that we promised”.

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