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Freddy Bernal is the ex-mayor (2004–2008) of the Libertador Municipality in Caracas, Venezuela and a member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).[1] As of April 2016, he is currently the national coordinator of Local Committee for Supply and Production (CLAP).[2]

Freddy Bernal
Freddy Bernal 2003.png
Bernal in 2003
National Coordinator of Local Committee for Supply and Production (CLAP)
In office
April 3, 2016 – present
Preceded byoffice created
Mayor of Libertador Municipaly
In office
July 30, 2000 – November 30, 2008
Preceded byAntonio Ledezma
Succeeded byJorge Rodríguez
Personal details
Born
Freddy Alirio Bernal Rosales

(1962-06-16) June 16, 1962 (age 56)
San Cristóbal, Táchira, Venezuela
Political partyUnited Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) (from 2007)
Fifth Republic Movement (until 2007)

Contents

Law enforcementEdit

Prior to becoming a politician, the BBC says he "commanded a notorious metropolitan police elite corps known as the Z Group".[3] In October 2014, President Nicolás Maduro made Bernal head of a newly created presidential commission concentrated on police reform.[4] President Maduro stated that the goal of the commission led by Bernal was to review both CICPC and the Bolivarian National Police.[5]

Political careerEdit

The BBC described Bernal as President Hugo Chavez's "most trusted mayor in Caracas", adding that the "opposition regard him as ultra-revolutionary".[3] Bernal was also a leader of the Bolivarian Circles.[6]

ControversyEdit

In an 18 March 2015 interview with Globovisión, Bernal was asked "Can a homosexual be a police officer?" to where he replied, "Yes ... so long as they don’t manifest their sexual preference publicly. Because imagine if a police officer that might want to wear a pink shirt, or wear lipstick. I think that that, at least in Venezuela, I don’t know in other places, doesn’t go with our culture.[4] He then attempted to clarify, stating "I have nothing against sexual diversity ... But they couldn’t manifest it publicly, because it goes against the structure of what a police officer should be."[4] Bernal's remarks raised concerns of homophobia in Venezuela among the Venezuelan and the international LGBT communities.[4][7][8]

SanctionsEdit

Bernal has been sanctioned by several countries.

CanadaEdit

Canada sanctioned 40 Venezuelan officials, including Bernal, in September 2017.[9][10] The sanctions were for behaviors that undermined democracy after at least 125 people will killed in the 2017 Venezuelan protests and "in response to the government of Venezuela's deepening descent into dictatorship".[9] Canadians were banned from transactions with the 40 individuals, whose Canadian assets were frozen.[9] The sanctions noted a rupture of Venezuela's constitutional order.[11]

United StatesEdit

In 2011, four Hugo Chávez allies were sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury for allegedly helping FARC obtain weapons and smuggle drugs. Bernal, one of the sanctioned, dismissed the charges as "an aggression", saying he would not be frightened by the sanctions.[12][13]

In November 2017, Bernal was again sanctioned by the United Stated Office of Foreign Assets Control after the 2017 Venezuelan Constituent Assembly election;[14] the Treasury Department described the individuals sanctioned as being "associated with undermining electoral processes, media censorship, or corruption in government-administered food programs in Venezuela".[15]

PanamaEdit

In March 2018, Panama sanctioned 55 public officials, including Bernal;[16] the officials were sanctioned by the Panamanian government for their alleged involvement with "money laundering, financing of terrorism and financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction".[17]

European UnionEdit

On 25 June 2018, the European Union sanctioned eleven Venezuelan officials, including Bernal,[18] in response to the May 2018 Venezuelan presidential election, which the E.U. described as "neither free nor fair".[19]

SwitzerlandEdit

On 10 July 2018, he was among eleven Venezuelans previously sanctioned by the European Union in June 2018 added to the sanctions list of Switzerland.[20][21][22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Bernal: El 26 de septiembre será como un nuevo 13 de abril". El Universal (in Spanish). 13 April 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  2. ^ http://albaciudad.org/2017/01/clap-1-945-000-familias-2016/
  3. ^ a b "Venezuela: Chavez's key backers". BBC. 19 March 2004. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d Bayetti Flores, Verónica (19 March 2015). "VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT OF POLICE REFORM COMMISSION MAKES HOMOPHOBIC REMARKS". Feministing. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  5. ^ M. Rodríguez T., Carmen (30 October 2014). "Freddy Bernal estará al frente de la Comisión para la reforma policial". El Universal. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  6. ^ Nelson, Brian A. (2009). The silence and the scorpion : the coup against Chávez and the making of modern Venezuela (online ed.). New York: Nation Books. pp. 20–22. ISBN 1568584180.
  7. ^ Arenas, Vanessa (18 March 2015). "Activistas: "Para ser homosexual no hay que pintarse los labios ni vestirse de rosado"". Efecto Cocuyo. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  8. ^ Parant, Paul (19 March 2015). "Au Venezuela, un policier peut être gay… s'il le cache". Têtu. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  9. ^ a b c "Canada imposes sanctions on key Venezuelan officials". CBC Canada. Thomson Reuters. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  10. ^ Zilio, Michelle (22 September 2017). "Canada sanctions 40 Venezuelans with links to political, economic crisis". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 April 2019. Also at Punto de Corte and El Nacional
  11. ^ "Venezuela sanctions". Government of Canada. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  12. ^ "US sanctions Venezuelans for alleged Farc links". BBC. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Treasury designates four Venezuelan officials for providing arms and security to the FARC" (Press release). U.S. Department of the Treasury. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Treasury sanctions ten Venezuelan government officials" (Press release). U.S. Department of the Treasury. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  15. ^ "U.S. blacklists 10 Venezuelans for corruption, undermining state vote". Reuters. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  16. ^ "Los 55 funcionarios sancionados por Panamá por 'blanqueo de capitales'". El Nacional (in Spanish). 30 March 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2019. Also at Panama Economic and Finance Ministry
  17. ^ "Estos son los 55 "rojitos" que Panamá puso en la mira por fondos dudosos | El Cooperante". El Cooperante (in Spanish). 2018-03-29. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  18. ^ "Council decision (CFSP) 2018/901 of 25 June 2018". Official Journal of the European Union. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Venezuela: EU adds 11 officials to sanctions list" (Press release). Council of the European Union. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Switzerland Sanctions 11 More Venezuelans, including Delcy Rodriguez, El Aissami, Chourio". Latin American Herald Tribune. 9 July 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Sanctions suisses contre la vice-présidente du Venezuela" [Swiss sanctions against the vice president of Venezuela] (in French). Swiss Broadcasting Company. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Sanctions suisses contre la vice-présidente du Venezuela". Government of Switzerland (in French). 10 July 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
Preceded by
Antonio Ledezma
Mayor of Libertador Municipality
2000–2008
Succeeded by
Jorge Rodríguez