Making Liqui-Liquis Great Again

The typical Venezuelan garb reminiscent of Mao-dress is making a comeback in a big way, or at least that's what Maduro wants.

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.