If you’re more into political news than fancy dress parties you may not have heard of New York fashion designer Carolina Herrera except for her early offer to design clothing for the First Lady. A grateful immigrant from Venezuela, Herrera was quick to offer to design something for Melania Trump when many of her more liberal competitors were turning up their nose at the opportunity. But this week it was her Venezuelan heritage and close family ties to that nation which had her back in the news. She went public with a blistering attack on the regime of dictator Nicolas Maduro after her own nephew was kidnapped and executed in that rapidly collapsing nation. (Page Six)
On Saturday, [Herrera] dressed down Venezuela’s “communist dictatorship” over the kidnapping and “assassination” of her nephew and his business partner in the violence-torn country last week.
The bodies of Reinaldo Jose Herrera, 34, and Fabrizio Mendoza, 31, were found Thursday night in a vehicle abandoned outside the capital, Caracas. According to reports, a ransom had been demanded and paid.
“Our only hope is that the tragic assassination of our young nephew, Reinaldo, and his colleague, Fabrizio, will serve to mitigate the terrible carnage and murders that are committed against our youth in Venezuela,” the fashion icon wrote in an Instagram message posted on Saturday.
Herrera went on to blast Maduro for not respecting the results of the legislative elections and declared that the “communist dictatorship” must go. (I’d say “socialist, obviously, but she gets full credit for the passionate response.)
What happened to her nephew and his business partner remains something of a mystery. They were obviously kidnapped and later found in a van on a rural road with point blank gunshot wounds to the head. Whether the murders were done by government militia members or one of Venezuela’s many gangs really isn’t the point. The people wouldn’t be suffering under such horrid conditions which allow crime to flourish if the regime of Maduro wasn’t collapsing and failing to provide basic services to the citizens, including protection from violent criminals.
If there’s any good to come of this tragedy it’s that we finally have some prominent figures in American society speaking up against what’s going on in Venezuela. More international pressure needs to be brought to bear if there’s any hope of getting Nicolas Maduro to relent and either step down or schedule fair, independently monitored elections. If that doesn’t happen soon there may not be very much left of Venezuelan society to salvage.