CARACAS A video of a Gucci- and Louis
Vuitton-clad politician attacking capitalism then struggling to
explain how his luxurious clothes square with his socialist
beliefs has become an instant YouTube hit in Venezuela.
Venezuelan Interior Minister Pedro Carreno was momentarily
at a loss for words when a journalist interrupted his speech
and asked if it was not contradictory to criticize capitalism
while wearing Gucci shoes and a tie made by Parisian luxury
goods maker Louis Vuitton.
"I don't, uh ... I ... of course," stammered Carreno on
Tuesday before regaining his composure. "It's not contradictory
because I would like Venezuela to produce all this so I could
buy stuff produced here instead of 95 percent of what we
consume being imported."
The video clip (here)
had been viewed more than 15,000 times on Thursday, a day after
it was posted on the YouTube Web site.
Despite the best efforts of left-wing President Hugo Chavez
to instil austere socialist values in its people, the oil-rich
South American nation remains attached to consumerism.
Riding a boom in oil prices, middle-class and wealthy
Venezuelans are on a spending spree, guzzling fine whiskies and
snapping up luxury cars. Poorer Venezuelans also have
benefited, with subsidies driving a spike in demand for basic
(Reporting by Enrique Andres Pretel, writing by Frank Jack
Daniel; Editing by Xavier Briand)