Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Mac Margolis

Barbie Takes Venezuela

How long until she's on the black market?
They want the real deal.

They want the real deal.

Photographer: Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images

The keepers of "21st-Century Socialism" in Venezuela have been trying to hold capitalism and consumerism at bay since left-wing populist Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999. Now, they appear to have met their match. Blonde and svelte, standing about 11.5 inches tall, she's found her way into Venezuelan hearts and minds -- and soon enough, under their Christmas trees as well.

Officially, the run on Barbie dolls comes with the Venezuelan government's blessings. She's in a grab bag of imported items that President Nicolas Maduro has decided to subsidize to brighten the yuletide of hard-working Bolivarians.