Francisco Cabrera Santos, Mayor of Valencia (Venezuela)

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Francisco (Paco) Cabrera Santos
Mayor of Valencia, Venezuela

Mayor Francisco Cabrera Santos has been twice elected by popular ballot. With his particular style of ‘little talk and more action’, the Mayor - better known as ‘Paco Cabrera’ - has consolidated his regional leadership with promising and successful projects. In 2006 Francisco Cabrera Santos was included among the top ten mayors of the annual World Mayor project.

He was born in the Canary Islands on 14 May 1946. His parents migrated to Venezuela to avoid the consequences of the Second World War and made their home in San Felipe City.

At the age of 17 he established himself in Valencia City, where he started a successful business in the supply and distribution of office supplies, construction materials and asphalt products. In 1992, as a result of his social conscience, he accepted a post in the regional administration that led to his becoming president of the Foundation for Sports Development (FUNDADEPORTE) in the State of Carabobo.

In this role he elevated the depressed sporting facilities of the state to a high level, enabling coaches and administrators working under him to achieve the Junior Games National Championship twice in a row. From then on, Carabobo has managed to send athletes to most international sports events. He created the Villa Olímpica of Valencia, better known as the ‘national sports temple’ and later became the President of the Organizer Committee of the South American Games.

All this eventually led to the political arena, and finally to the Mayoralty of Valencia. He later decided to form a new political party, the Communitarian Patriotic Consensus (CONPACO).

Today, as Mayor of Valencia City, he continues to promote sports at a local level at more than 100 sport grounds in different areas of the municipality. His work in sport resulted in his being appointed Life President of the Sports Journalists and Graphic Reporters Club of Carobobo State.

He was also President of the Institute of Highway Administration of Carabobo State, and Director of the Autonomous Institute of Cabello Port, the second most important port in the country. For his public service, Mayor Cabrera’s has been recognised with various awards and decorations, including Adoptive Son of Valencia City, the Arturo Michelena Order and the Sports Leader of Carabobo

During his term in office over the past years he has achieved national and international recognition for having rejuvenated important areas of the city. His vision of realising a modern metropolis, without losing the sense of vitality and tradition, led to his initiating the ‘Valencia 2020’ project for developing and revitalising the city.

He became Mayor at Venezuela’s worst political moment. He considers, however, that up to now he has made it through because he has focused on carrying out an austerity administration, eliminating superfluous expense and reducing bureaucracy. He did this with a team from the private sector, not from politics, since he considers that the main problem of public administration is that posts are often occupied by those with partisan cards or records, and not by skilful people.

Paco Cabrera despises lazy, false and mediocre politicians who have little humanity and fill vacancies without merit and are interested only in power and ambition. Politics, he states, must be directed to the collective benefit and should never be used as a springboard.

On the current state of Venezuela, he identifies the main wrongs as continual improvisation, a lack of continuity in state policies and the constant change of game rules. He declared: “We have not had a clear direction under any of our rulers. None of them has valued the principal factor of our country, the class of its people.” (Report by Adriana Maciel)

Aerial view of Valencia, Venezuela

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