Miss Venezuela, Dayana Mendoza, won the contest.
As the last-linked post above noted, Ms. Mendoza’s relations with Hugo Chavez were apparently somewhat frosty, and he did not congratulate her on her victory. Now Miss Mendoza, who is enjoying her year as Miss Universe, has surfaced once again–at Guantanamo Bay! She and the 2008 Miss USA, Crystle Stewart, were invited to tour the base and meet with troops there. Miss Mendoza wrote about the experience on her blog at the Miss Universe web site:
This week, Guantanamo!!! It was an incredible experience.
We arrived in Gitmo on Friday and started going around the town, everybody knew Crystle and I were coming so the first thing we did was attend a big lunch and then we visited one of the bars they have in the base. We talked about Gitmo and what is was like living there. The next days we had a wonderful time, this truly was a memorable trip! We hung out with the guys from the East Coast and they showed us the boat inside and out, how they work and what they do, we took a ride around the land and it was a loooot of fun!
We also met the Military dogs, and they did a very nice demonstration of their skills. All the guys from the Army were amazing with us.
We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting.
We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.
The water in Guantanamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me off Guantanamo Bay 🙂
I didn’t want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.
I was back in NY on Wednesday and on Thursday I did some paper work at the office and went out for dinner. On Friday I flew to Miami for the weekend because I had a photo shoot for the magazine People en Espanol. So hopefully I might be a little lucky and have some time off to take the sun for a while 🙂
I don’t suppose that will improve her relations with Chavez any; I don’t suppose she cares. Miss Mendoza was once kidnapped and held for ransom in Caracas, a sort of crime that plagues Venezuela. Maybe that colors her attitude toward terrorists. In any event, she expresses a more realistic and balanced view of Guantanamo Bay than our President.
Via Jules Crittenden, who took the trouble to track down lots more photos of the lovely and sensible Miss Mendoza, including this one: