Here’s Councilman Charles Barron in City Hall yesterday, sounding off on the political situation in Zimbabwe.
I asked Barron, a longtime admirer of Robert Mugabe, what he thought about Mugabe’s behavior, considering the horrific violence reported against the democratic opposition to his government in Zimbabwe. Barron’s answer was the same as always: the West and Western media is biased against Mugabe because he took land back from colonial white settlers.
(Barron invited Mugabe to City Hall in 2002.)
“In the year 2000, when he said one farm, one farmer, he was vilified,” Barron told me. “For 20 years they loved Mugabe because they didn’t take the land from the whites.” In South Africa, he goes on, whites “still own 80 to 90 percent of the land. That’s why they like Mandela. That’s why they like Bishop Tutu. They let the whites keep the land.”
As for the violence, Barron said that he had seen no evidence tying the government to the attacks on opposition supporters; that there were bad things done by opposition supporters, too; and that none of the reports on what’s happening in Zimbabwe were objective.
The guy standing next to Barron, in case you’re wondering, is Mike Nieves, a Democratic operative from the Bronx who’s a fixture around City Hall.