Political Elite In Starving Venezuela Caught Wearing Pricey Watches

REUTERS/Mike Segar

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Senior Venezuelan leaders, including President Nicolas Maduro, have been spotted wearing some fancy watches while most Venezuelans scavenge for scraps of food.

Venezuelan blog Relojes del Chavismo, Spanish for Watches of Chavez-ism, tracks the expensive taste of the country’s political elite. Besides Maduro, another notable politician for his fondness of watches is Diosdado Cabello, former speaker of the National Assembly, who is under investigation for international drug trafficking.

Maduro is particularly appreciative of Swiss watchmaker Tissot’s products. According to the blog, Maduro owns a Tissot T-Touch Navigator worth $595 and another Tissot T-Touch model priced at $975. The president is actually rather thrifty compared to his Minister of Foreign Affairs Delcy Rodríguez, who wears French jeweler Cartier‘s Ronde Solo that costs a whopping $2,780.

The Venezuelan economy is in shambles as the government has been forced to ration out food. The country has immense oil wealth because it’s home to the world’s largest proven crude oil reserves, with 24.9 percent of global supply, but has taken serious hits with the global drop in oil prices. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member state is nevertheless struggling to stay afloat as the country is plagued by hyperinflation and is at a political standstill.

Maduro has been unable to work with the country’s opposition, which gained control of the Venezuelan National Assembly after defeating the socialists in the December, 2015, elections. The country’s political landscape may soon change, though, as National Electoral Council (CNE) validated the signatures of 1 percent of votersvto begin the process for a presidential recall election.

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