Miss Universe: The geopolitical angle

We look to our own John Hinderaker for aesthetic notes and gambling odds on the annual Miss Universe pageant. In his excellent coverage of Miss Venezuela’s triumph in the pageant last night, John noted that Latin America has become increasingly dominant in the world of pageantry. Among the five Miss Universe finalists last night were Miss Venezuela and Miss Colombia. Now comes Monica Showalter — the knowlegeable Investor’s Business Daily editorial writer — to illuminate the geopolitical dimension of last night’s festivities. Following up on John’s post, Monica writes:

Here’s something I find amusing: President Uribe of Colombia ended up officially congratulating both Miss Venezuela and Miss Colombia for their success in the contest because Hugo Chavez of Venezuela was silent, leaving Miss Universe with no acknowledgement. The dictator’s been fighting with pageant officials for years and all of his Web sites thus far acknowledge nothing about the contest winner even though it is big news in Venezuela. Apparently, he prefers the steel teeth and hobnail boots look of commie beauties.

To me, the congratulations to both girls looks like a canny political move from Uribe, whose popularity in the past week and a half has shot up to 92 percent in Colombia, and has spilled deep into Venezuela. That whole summit that Chavez & Uribe conducted was a bid to raise Chavez’s popularity at home anyway – Venezuelans like Uribe and hate Chavez.

Monica forwards the link to President Uribe’s congratulatory message (I think) as well as the link to a nice photogallery of Miss Colombia (click on Ver Galeria just below the photo) for our geopolitical edification.

Regarding Miss Venezuela, Monica adds: “Here’s another good Miss Venezuela story, describing her experiences 18 months ago being kidnapped in an ‘express kidnap,’ which is common in Caracas.” On the subject of such kidnappings in Venezuela, Monica notes that one of the best movies she’s ever seen is called “Secuestro Express.” According to Monica, “it’s a realistic depiction of the kidnapping that plagues Caracas in the Chavista era. It’s non-political, and the thugs are depicted as just thugs – actually, they might have been real thugs depicting fictional thugs, but the Venezuelan government halted this film from being listed as an Oscar nominee for best foreign film. It probably would have otherwise won. It’s a first-rate movie that is very terrifying.”

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