AP reporter Hannah Dreier keeps her tongue firmly in cheek with this story, which highlights the bizarre ideological swirl that characterizes Nicolás Maduro. In the name of socialism, he mandated discounts on, among other things, Barbies.
Andrea Alberto, a 22-year-old student, managed to nab a stack of dolls for her stunned-looking 3-year-old, under whose arm she'd tucked an "I Can Be Cheerleader" Barbie, complete with sparkling pompoms.
The Venezuelan government apparently gives a lot of thought to Barbie. Back in 2007, Hugo Chávez went off on Barbie (and Superman) and made a point of how much he disliked the doll. And just one year ago, the Venezuelan state news agency had a story associating Barbie with the empty-headedness of the opposition.
It's a nice clientelist move to make the price of dolls artificially low, but it's not particularly socialist. Barbie remains a symbol of the United States and is produced by a U.S.-based multinational corporation, Mattel. Barbie is all about capitalism. Certainly that is the impression I get as my 6 year old daughter pushes her around in a fancy car and decides what jewelry she's going to wear. Viva la revolución! Barbie o muerte!