Making Liqui-Liquis Great Again


Earlier this month, Nicolas Maduro set himself quite a goal for this year: To make the traditional Venezuelan male costume known as liqui-liqui relevant once again. Because he decreed it so.

Since such announcement, he has tried to follow through on his word by donning it more often in official events and now he wants to push others to use it too. How exactly? By organizing a special show in order “to show the different modalities of the liqui-liqui”. But wait, there’s also a new open contest inviting designers from all over the land to make their own version of the liqui-liqui.

Maduro has delegated the task of those two events to Industry Minister Miguel Perez Abad and Former Admiral Carmen Melendez, Minister for the President’s Office and Government Oversight. Man, just to be a fly on the wall of those high-level prep meetings in Miraflores. Can you imagine?

Some in the government have already embraced the use of the liqui-liqui, with some not-so-subtle variations: Félix Mendez Correa, Venezuelan Consul General in Funchal (Madeira Island, Portugal) used one during a recent exhibit opening and… I think the picture below just speaks for itself.I understand the idea of being creative and all, but that’s not how liqui-liqui’s are supposed to work.

The idea of fully embracing the liqui-liqui in this day and age is not new: The late comandante eterno used them quite a lot previous to his 1998 election. But with the passing of time, he preferred to stick with either formal business suits or variations of his famous red shirts.

Boys over at opposition party Voluntad Popular tried to make liqui-liquis cool during last year’s National Assembly opening session. This year, they decided to do it all over again, in support of Leopoldo López. Seems like they believe that liqui-liquis are already great, I guess…

You might wonder why Maduro is so interested in this: Is he pushing a more nationalistic vibe or just trying to distract his foes? Regardless of the reason, one thing remains true:  Most Venezuelans couldn’t afford to buy a liqui-liqui, even if they wanted to.

Efecto Cocuyo’s Abraham Salazar visited nine stores in Caracas right after Maduro’s liqui-liqui pledge. Just to order one would cost anybody an average of at least three minimum wages. And that was early this month. Let’s not forget: In today’s Venezuela, inflation comes at you really fast.

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  1. Deja vu, all over again. Everything traditional, when people were similarly poor, is extolled as truly “authentic”, appealing to national pride, vs. the vile interloping international imperialist capitalist attempts to subjugate the noble/dignified Venezuelan to a culture/goals which will only pollute his pure being/soul. Next will be the glorification of alpargatas, which were still in some use in Caracas’s streets as late as the early 1950’s. Expect the announcement any day of the new Hugo Chavez Mision Calzado, with alpargatas produced nationwide by Cooperativas, financed by Chinese loans, and payed for ultimately by ever-diminishing production/pricing of heavy oil….

  2. Maduro is desperate to get peoples mind distracted away from the crisis hitting hard on their lives , wearing Liquiliquis is a folkish badge of Venezuelan nationality , something that people can take pride in even if no one wears them nowadays , it hankers back to a time in which they were indeed used by a great many people ……When Maduro makes a play at bringing back the use of the Liquiliqui he is not thinking about liquiliquis but about getting people to pay attention to things other than their miserable daily life !! no further explanation needed……

    Ive never worn one but my grandad never wore anything else , my dad wore them once in a while , they were more affordable and popular then , and good for days of warm weather …these days they are an extravagance !!


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