Corruption and politicization: the terrible complaints about Venezuela’s San Sebastián International Fair 2024

Corrupción y politización: la denuncia del diputado Saavedra sobre la Feria Internacional de San Sebastián 2024



A series of irregularities and alleged acts of corruption occurred during the cultural events of the 59th edition of the San Sebastian International Fair (FISS), as denounced by the deputy Hugo “Tato” Saavedra. The parliamentarian assured that the event was completely politicized and “it seems that San Cristóbal does not have a patron called San Sebastián but rather San Bernal or San PSUV.”

Anggy Polanco / Correspondent

Saavedra explained that the cultural events were completely politicized, and the patron saint was only seen at the pontifical mass that was given in his honor.

“It seems that in the FISS the queen of the PSUV was chosen, because a purely private event was held in a five-star hotel, with great fanfare, where the only guests were the senior staff of Chavismo and the common people did not have access to the event or the opportunity to elect their sovereign,” he asserted.

Regarding the ‘Vuelta al Táchira’ (Tour of Táchira State, a multy-stage bicycle race), the political leader said that although they promise to expand the cycling route next year, this year they only dedicated themselves to paving the stretches of roads through which the cyclists were going to pass, so in the road to Capacho the government only repaired the upstream lane, while the downstream lane remains destroyed, as is the road between ‘Peracal’ and ‘Rubio’.

“They only swept where the cyclists would pass and where Mr. Bernal would pass,” he said.

While in the bullfighting events, Saavedra denounced that on the last afternoon the ordinance was violated since ‘David El Fandi’ should have been replaced by a bullfighter of equal or better rank, which caused annoyance among the bullfighting fans of Táchira State.

He assured that the San Sebastián International Fair was not as positive as the governor of Táchira wants us to believe, because the money raised in these activities has not been delivered to the Fair Institute of the San Cristóbal Municipality, while those who handled the money, they raised it all in cash. In addition, he noted that the installation of each stand had high costs paid in dollars and Colombian pesos cash.

“Where is that money, Mr. Bernal? Because there is no water, there is no electricity, there is no gas, and that money must be reinvested in the public services of Táchira and delivered to those designated to manage it, which is the Mayor’s Office of San Cristóbal,” he added.

Saavedra stated that Bernal took advantage of the cultural events to carry out a political campaign, with his name and face even in the bands of the girls participating in the queen’s pageant, promoting his candidacy in an election year with public money.

He recalled that municipal regulations were violated by removing the competence of the Fair Institute in all activities that were managed by the state government secretary.

“The fair was stolen by the regional government and has not given a response to the people of San Cristóbal, we demand that they publicly respond for the income of the FISS, because that money belongs to the San Cristóbal Municipality, so that it can in turn reinvest this in public services.”

He stated that the San Sebastián International Fair was not recovered, because it is an event of the people “not of a group of ‘enchufados’ (plugged-ins, well connected) nor of a particular political party.”