Rangel for Gobernador? It’s The Name You Know

Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:40pm

So there HOH was, soaking in the local scenery of South America, when this political graffiti caught our eye:

Venezuelan Rangel
(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Could it be that the New York Democrat Rep. Charles B. Rangel was looking to trade historic Harlem for the rainforests of southeastern Venezuela?

No es verdad.

Turns out this particular piece of propaganda was for Francisco José Rangel Gómez, a member of the Hugo Chavez-led United Socialist Party of Venezuela and the newly installed governor of the state of Bolivar.

A family member who resides in El Callao, one of the epicenters of gold production within the mineral-rich state, said the recent election remained clouded by controversy, with some maintaining that Rangel Gómez and the United Socialist Party stole the seat from opposition candidate Andrés Velásquez. HOH’s cousin has his doubts but said he abstained from voting because, at least lately, all the parties have been guilty of running the cash-strapped country into the ground.

“We have to wait in line to fill our tanks, purchase food [sugar and flour were painfully scarce during my recent visit] or take money out of the bank,” he said of Venezuela’s dire state of affairs.

There but for the grace of God…