For most Venezuelans, obtaining U.S. dollars in a tightly regulated economy is a nightmare.
Apparently not for President Hugo Chavez’s 14-year-old daughter, Rosines, who posted a picture of herself holding a wad of greenbacks. In polarized Venezuela, where the president excoriates businessmen and calls capitalism a scourge on humanity, the photo touched off a controversy as critics went to social media sites to mock the first family.
The picture, posted on Instagram, irritated Venezuelans who have to go through a government agency to buy dollars. To stem capital flight, the government has for years severely restricted the purchase of dollars, creating a thriving black market for foreign currency.
Ordinary Venezuelans can buy a dollar at 4.3 bolivars, but they often shell out twice that much in order to obtain as many greenbacks as they need.
Rosines’s picture, for many Venezuelans, highlights the parallel system at work: easy access for those close to Chavez, restrictions for those with no connections.