While Venezuela’s embattled government struggles with the fallout from being declared officially in default by ISDA after delaying a principal payment on the Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, bond that matured Nov. 2, its Supreme Court has been busy robbing the country’s downtrodden public one of the few small pleasures still available in a country that has been deprived of seemingly every necessity, from food to medicine.
Local media reported that Venezuela’s Supreme Court on Friday ruled that magazines that circulate to the general public can no longer feature images of scantily clad women on their covers.
The decree specifically mentions “pornographic” content, yet includes many mainstream magazines: According to the court, “images of nude or partially nude women in compromising and suggestive poses that stimulate sexual arousal for commercial ends” are now banned from magazines, regardless of whether the photos are editorial content, or found in advertisements.
Foto contraportada diario Meridiano hoy 16 de agosto. Mil gracias a Edgar Àlfaro por la deferencia. Es para ustedes pic.twitter.com/rXBQOtct5o— Merineth Vegas (@MerinethVegas) August 16, 2013
The decision was a response to a complaint filed by a citizen against weekly sports publication El Heraldo, a subsidiary of 6° Poder. The complaint requested that the government prohibit the “publication of any example, be it digital or printed, including private subscriptions, of images with sexual content … whether it be by way of a photograph, other image, advertisements or links that could be accessed by children and young people."
The court claimed that when such images go public, the publishers aren’t aware of their responsibilities as “media outlets in society to transmit appropriate content” seen by both adults and children.
This ruling directly affects the country’s primary publications Meridiano and Líder, both of which make use of images of women in bathing suits on their covers.
“These types of sexual images don’t come with a warning, which could bring about negative consequences with respect to people’s baser instincts, and thereby put at risk the constitutional rights of the most vulnerable, namely children and young people,” the court’s ruling continues.
Venezuela’s Supreme Court has regularly kowtowed to the whims of the Maduro government, most famously when it certified a Maduro-approved directive to disband the country’s Congress, a ruling that led to the successful (if rigged) referendum vote to create a new National Assembly to help Maduro change the country’s Constitution to cement his long-term grip on power - and marginalize political dissidents who have been rallying in the streets of the country’s cities for months.
Venezuela’s economy has been locked in a vicious downward spiral after falling oil prices and years of mismanagement by Maduro and his predecessor, President Hugo Chavez have spurred inflation rates above 2,000%.
Given these endemic economic troubles, it would appear women in bikinis are the least of the societal ills plaguing Latin America’s favorite Socialist Paradise.