Send in the clowns, please. As Latin American and Caribbean leaders descend on Caracas for the CELAC summit, the VenezuelaN government is making efforts to shape visitors’ perceptions of his struggling hybrid regime.
One of the efforts poignantly pointed out by university professor and human rights activist Gonzalo Himiob Santome is the hiring of clowns with signs and slogans of Caracas as a “Revolutionary and Happy City”. Many in red and some in full clown costume were spotted outside a major Caracas hotel, shopping mall and busy intersection on December 2, 2011.
What the clowns likely fail to mention are the untenable low wages, persistent 30 percent inflation and the intolerable and crippling public safety situation. Despite the revolution’s proclaimed successes, Caracas has had for years and continues to have one of the highest murder rates in the world.
Original Tweet text: “Títeres pagados frente al Hotel Tamanaco disfrazando a Caracas de “Ciudad Revolucionaria y Feliz”. Muy Triste.” @HimiobSantome