From the NY Post:
Liberal East Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, a contender for City Council Speaker, is pals with Bolivia’s socialist, anti-American president, The Post has learned.
The pol even traveled to support Evo Morales — whose buddies included Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — during an ultimately unsuccessful recall election in 2008.
Mark-Viverito, a Democrat, flew to the South American nation to “observe” the vote of Morales “at invitation of government of Bolivia,” according to papers she filed with the Conflicts of Interest Board.
That same year, Mark-Viverito, Comptroller John Liu and Councilman Robert Jackson praised Morales after he spoke at the American Indian Community House in Lower Manhattan.
During the speech, Morales denounced an American “conspiracy” to interfere with his socialists agenda, because the US had sought to reduce coca farming because it can be processed into cocaine.
Morales, a coca farmer by trade, was elected president with heavy support from the country’s farming community.
The three Americans responded by presenting him with a framed proclamation “recognizing his work on behalf of indigenous peoples’ rights,” according to local press reports.
The Bolivian trip didn’t break Mark-Viverito’s bank. The city’s powerful healthcare workers’ union, where Mark-Viverito worked before her 2005 election to the Council, shelled out up to $5,000 for her airfare and hotel, records show.
Last week, the union — which also backed Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio — threw her a party in Puerto Rico to kickstart her campaign for speaker.