Freddy Bernal, Mayor of the Libertador municipality in downtown Caracas, is one of the president's most trusted mayors in Caracas. The opposition regard him as ultra-revolutionary.
He was a target of the police raids carried out on 12 April 2002, under the short-lived Carmona government.
The mayor played a key role in organising a rally on 28 February 2004 to protest against what he called US interference in internal affairs.
He said the march was a way of asking the Bush administration to show Venezuela some respect and refrain from commenting on the country's internal affairs.
Bernal was also a vocal supporter of the militarisation of Caracas in November 2002, when the national guard began to patrol the streets of the capital following widespread violence.
Before taking up politics, the mayor commanded a notorious metropolitan police elite corps known as the Z Group.
The opposition now accuse him of both arming and training the "Bolivarian Circles", an allegation he denies.