Teresa, la Usurpadora

After a foiled attempt, Chavismo seized the mayorship of Barquisimeto and the Chavista administrative style came back with vengeance.

Just hours after the TSJ ordered his removal, plus 15 months in prison for contempt, Barquisimeto’s Mayor, Alfredo Ramos, was arrested by SEBIN intelligence agents. His relatives and lawyers have been denied their right to visit him, multiple times.

The following day, the Iribarren Municipal Council, under Chavista control, named its current head, Teresa Linarez, as the new mayor. She took office by stating:

We got the mayorship back. I don’t mind being called an usurper, I came here to implement a court order and I’ll do it with the support of the people and the revolutionary councilmen. Therefore, I won’t allow any attacks on the municipality. We’ll apply a heavy hand to watch over our people and those who ride roughshod over our people will be sanctioned.

In her first days, praised by Lara’s chavistas in charge, she has led  “the clean-up of the city”, under the slogan of her administration, “For Barquisimeto’s sake”. Planning protests and trancazos? Linarez promises harsh retribution.

But beyond that, and singing the Constituyente’s praises, she’s making sure that local social programs are done for political profit: People looking for free health assistance must now carry the Carnet de la Patria, and you probably know how much fun that is.

Carmen Ramos, Alfredo Ramos’ wife, denounced this practice showing a Municipal Institute of Social Development (IMDES) flyer and its new requirements for social assistance, including a letter to either Linarez, or the IMDES chief, stuff that previous IMDES heads consider abhorrent.

With a new political platform, recently created to demand the freedom of Mayor Ramos and other political prisoners, the scarce information available about his health is cause for concern. He suffers from hypertension and Mrs. Ramos said that, days after his imprisonment, he had a crisis. She’s not sure if the medicines she gave the SEBIN have reached him.

Just remember: Alfredo Ramos is but one of many opposition mayors jailed, removed from their posts or wanted by SEBIN.

¡Dígalo ahí, Amnistía Internacional!