Alicia Machado And Former Venezuelan Beauty Queens Talk Country's Crisis, Upcoming 'Miss Universe'

Miss Universe
Should Venezuela participate in Miss Universe 2018? Photo: Getty Images

Former Venezuelan beauty queens, Alicia Machado, Maritza Sayalero, Stefania Fernández and Bárbara Palacios agree that due to the critical situation that Venezuela is going through it would not be appropriate to talk about competitions like the Miss Universe.

Although the date for the next Miss Universe pageant is still not close, there is already a debate in which whether Venezuela should participate in the event, when the country is experiencing growing internal tensions.

According to The Associated Press, Machado reported that under the current circumstances that cross the country where was born, Miss Universe is not a priority issue. "A beauty contest is the most superficial thing that exists on the face of the earth so I don’t think Venezuela should waste time in paying attention to a beauty contest," said Machado, who was Miss Universe in 1996. "The country is in a national misfortune. We are not to be celebrating anything at all. The country is out of control," she told AP.

As Venezuela is the second country with the most Miss Universe winners, this could be the first time that the country has not participated for reasons of this kind since 1960. "It's a tragedy," Machado said. "Not participating in the Miss Universe is the least important, the least transcendental," said the actress based in Los Angeles.

According to reports from the news portal, the coordinator of the Miss Venezuela organization, Yuraima Quintero, said she had no comment, while beauty agent Osmel Sousa declined interviews. Maritza Sayalero, who was crowned in 1979 and according to AP has been living in Mexico for more than three decades, said the absence of Venezuela in the contest "would be a very low blow, very hard." But she made it clear that "there are things more important than a beauty contest or a candidate."

Stefania Fernández, Miss Universe 2009, said she would be sorry if the current Miss Venezuela, could not represent her country in the international competition, but also pointed out that Venezuela "is not talking about beauty contests."

Protests against President Nicolas Maduro since April 1 have brought thousands to the streets demanding elections, but has also left hunreds dead, according to an official toll. The opposition in Venezuela is brutally repressed and everyone is asking for peace in the midst of the crisis.

It's good to remember that the oil-rich nation is facing a humanitarian crisis. Food shortages, skyrocketing inflation and a plummeting currency are just a few issues that caused Venezuela to become a "Failing State." The country's current poverty is due oil, the same thing that made it rich. Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves, being the U.S. its biggest customer. Former President Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013, controlled oil profits.

Chavez allegedly used all the money in education, health care and employment, but all that spending left Venezuela in recession.


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Shirley Gomez has been exposed to many aspects of the art world. Besides being a Fashion Journalist, she studied Fashion Styling and Fashion Styling for Men at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Interior Design at UNIBE and Fashion Design at ITSMJ Fashion School in the Dominican Republic. She worked as a Fashion Journalist, Fashion Stylist and Social Media Manager at one of the most recognized magazines in the Dominican Republic, Oh! Magazine, as an occasional Entertainment Journalist, of the prestigious newspaper “Listín Diario”, as well as a fashion collaborator of a radio show aired in 100.9 FM SuperQ. When Shirley is not writing you can find her listening Demi Lovato or Beyonce's songs, decorating her apartment or watching Family Feud.