Image of Rosinés Chávez, 14, peeking behind a wad of US dollars on Instagram has angered many Venezuelans
First she uploaded a picture of her posing with Justin Bieber, now one of her flaunting a fistful of dollars: Hugo Chávez's teenage daughter is not helping the family's revolutionary image.
Rosinés Chávez, 14, triggered controversy in Venezuela this week after posting a picture of herself peeking behind a wad of US dollars on Instagram, a free photo sharing app available on iphones and other Apple products.
The image provoked indignation because her father's "21st century socialist revolution" has tightly controlled trading of foreign currency for almost a decade, leaving many ordinary Venezuelans without enough dollars for trips or business.
Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites seethed with resentment from people who said they had been unable to change bolívares, the local currency, because of government limits on the amount of dollars that can be bought at the official, fixed rate.
Exchange controls adopted in 2003 to reduce capital flight oblige Venezuelans to navigate a state agency called CADIVI which is notorious for delays, corruption and capping individual allowances at $3000 (£1,911) a year. Those with inside connections get extra greenbacks, those without must take their chance on an illegal parallel market which charges double for dollars.
"I can't have even a single dollar unless I buy it on the black market because CADIVI has us prisoner!!!" said Marisel Ramírez, one typical comment on the website of a newspaper, Diario Maracaibo. "What annoys me is the mockery given that we have to beg CADIVI and banks to give us dollars," said Gerar Ortega, another commentator.
Others contrasted the image of Rosinés peeking behind the bills with her father's rhetoric against capitalism and consumerism. Some satirised the photo by substituting the dollars for cooking oil, coffee, sugar and other staples that occasionally become scarce in Venezuela.
However some defended Rosinés by pointing out the dollars were five dollar bills and amounted to not very much. Her mother Marisabel, a former journalist who divorced Chávez in 2003, said on twitter: "I told her that her mistake wasn't to take the picture, but rather posting it on a medium where there are ignorant people who don't respect others."
Rosinés made headlines last year after posting a picture of herself meeting Bieber, the Canadian pop star, upon his arrival at Caracas for a concert. Critics claimed this showed a glimpse of the family's allegedly exalted lifestyle.
Chávez, who is seeking a third six-year term later this year, made his youngest child famous in 2006 when he credited her with an amendment to the national flag and coat of arms. The then eight-year-old suggested the image of the horse should gallop right to left rather than left to right. Her father agreed and the national assembly approved the change.
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