Representatives of Juan Barreto, Mayor of Venezuelan capital, Caracas, will address a EuroPride conference this evening.

The delegation includes Fabiola González, director of the Citizen’s Attention Office of the Metropolitan District Mayor’s Office, Yislaine Guzmán, member of the Citizen’s Attention Office and Hailer Vaamonde, coordinator of GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transvestite) Affairs.

They will speak at the Mayor of London’s Europride reception, which takes place at City Hall tonight and will also attend this weekend’s parades and rallies. As well as a Trades Union Congress (TUC) LGBT conference.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone said: ‘I am very pleased to welcome the delegation from Caracas, which underlines the strengthening links between our two cities. Since being elected, President Chavez has shown his commitment to equality for lesbian and gay rights, with the first gay pride march taking place six years ago.

“The Mayor of Caracas has also declared his city a “homophobia-free territory” and established a unit within his office that deals specifically with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. EuroPride is bringing to the world to London and the presence of the Caracas delegation is indicative of the solidarity that exists around the world.”

Venezuela has enacted anti discrimination laws based on sexual orientation and has a thriving gay community which has celebrated Gay Pride Day since 1999 and is currently considering same sex marriage.

The EuroPride parade takes place on Saturday 1 July 2006.