Miss Universe victory brings brief unity to Venezuela

Posted Nov. 09, 2013, at 8:23 p.m.
Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler reacts as she is given the winner's sash after winning the Miss Universe pageant at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow Nov. 9, 2013.
MAXIM SHEMETOV | REUTERS
Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler reacts as she is given the winner's sash after winning the Miss Universe pageant at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow Nov. 9, 2013.
Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler (left) reacts as she is crowned by Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe 2012, during the Miss Universe pageant at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow Nov. 9, 2013.
MAXIM SHEMETOV | REUTERS
Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler (left) reacts as she is crowned by Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe 2012, during the Miss Universe pageant at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow Nov. 9, 2013.
Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler competes in the Miss Universe 2013 pageant at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow Nov. 9, 2013.
MAXIM SHEMETOV | REUTERS
Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler competes in the Miss Universe 2013 pageant at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow Nov. 9, 2013.

CARACAS, Venezuela — Squabbling bitterly every day over politics and economics, Venezuelans of all creeds could at least unite briefly on Saturday to hail their latest beauty queen.

Maria Gabriela Isler’s victory at the 2013 Miss Universe contest in Moscow won praise from heads of both political camps.

“Her triumph is Venezuela’s triumph. May God bless her always,” socialist President Nicolas Maduro tweeted in a respite from tirades against the right-wing “bourgeoisie.”

“Congratulations to Maria Gabriela Isler for this triumph, always exalting the Venezuelan woman! Long live Venezuela!” echoed his rival, opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who was otherwise lampooning Maduro’s “incompetence” on Twitter.

The South American nation has one of the world’s best records in international beauty pageants. While it is a source of pride to most Venezuelans, protests against exploitation of the female body were held at the last Miss Venezuela contest.

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