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Peruvian Restaurant Allegedly Chains Customer to Seat to Make Sure He Doesn’t Leave Without Paying

Photos of a Venezuelan emigrant allegedly chained to his seat at a restaurant in Peru so that he wouldn’t walk out without paying have sparked controversy online.

The shocking photos were originally posted on Twitter by a Venezuelan journalist named Luis Martinez, who writes for La Patilla. However, while the article posted on the news website is still accessible, the photos have been removed from the journalist’s Twitter feed. Allegedly, Martinez got the photos from a countryman who emigrated to Peru following the longstanding political and social turmoil in Venezuela. In one of his deleted tweets, the journalist claims that the man took the photos himself after being chained to his seat, but asked that his face be blurred out for fear of repercussions in Peru.

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Woman Tries to Smuggle Boyfriend Out of Prison in a Suitcase

A Venezuelan woman was caught trying to get her detained boyfriend out of Puente Ayala prison by packing him in a large suitcase. They almost got away with it too, but guards became suspicious after seeing the woman struggling with the suitcase.

25-year-old Antonieta Robles Souda arrived at the Puente Ayala prison in Barcelona, Venezuela, last week, to visit her boyfriend, José Antonio Anzoátegui, who serving a sentence of 9 years and 8 months for car theft. She had brought their six year-old daughter and a large pink suitcase, which is not at all uncommon for overnight stays by family members in South American prison. Little did the guards know that Souda and Anzoátegui were planning to leave the prison together the next day, as a big happy family.

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La Colonia Tovar – A Picturesque German Alpine Village in Venezuela

Venezuela is one of the last places you would expect to find a picturesque German alpine village, and yet… La Colonia Tovar, also known as ‘The Germany of the Caribbean’, is conspicuous for its white houses with timbers and red roofs surrounded by flower gardens, carefully tended fields and creeks with water mills, and its hearty German cuisine of sausages and sauerkraut and large slices of black forest cake followed by a cold pint of beer.

It’s hard to imagine such a place actually exists in a South American country with a predominantly tropical climate, like Venezuela. But travel north to the state of Aragua, about 1,800 meters up in the forests of the Cordillera de la Costa, and you’ll reach this quaint little town reminiscent of alpine Germany. Founded in 1843 by a group of 300-odd immigrants from the Schwarzwald (the Black Forest) of the Grand Duchy of Baden, on the eastern bank of the Rhine River, the town still maintains the original cultural imprint of this centuries-old community.

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How Big Busted Mannequins in Venezuela Are Changing the Country’s Perception of Beauty

With one in three Venezuelan women opting for breast enlargement procedures, it actually isn’t surprising that store mannequins in the nation now feature augmented busts as well.

According to a New York Times report, plastic surgery is so common in Venezuela that women freely talk about their operations. Even low income women save up to get operated and become what is now considered normal. Mannequin manufacturers claim that they simply had to catch up with these women, or risk bankruptcy. Many factories were in fact struggling to make ends meet until they decided to redesign their mannequins to reflect the nation’s changing beauty standards.

Mannequin factory owner Eliezer Alvarez did just that a few years back – he created a new kind of mannequin with a “bulging bosom and cantilevered buttocks, a wasp waist and long legs,” and experienced an immediate boost in sales. “The mannequins were natural just like the women were natural, (but now) the transformation has been both of the women and of the mannequin,” said Nereida Corro, Alvarez’s wife and business partner.

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Woman Hits Venezuelan President on the Head with a Mango, Gets Rewarded with New Home

While the rest of the world relies on petitions to get in touch with elected officials, it seems that things are done differently in Venezuela. A woman recently got quick results on a housing issue after she got the president’s attention by hitting him on the head with a mango!

The incident occurred last week, in the state of Aragua. President Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver, was driving a bus through a crowd when, out of nowhere, a ripe mango hurtled towards him, aimed straight at his head. The 52-year-old Venezuelan president managed to duck in time, but his ear took the blow. He then casually picked up the mango and displayed it to the crowd.

Upon closer inspection, the mango revealed a message, “If you can, call me,” along with a name and phone number. It turns out that the mango was thrown by a local woman named Marleny Olivo, who had been facing housing problems for a long time. Tired of filing endless petitions with the government, she decided to adopt a more ‘direct’ approach.

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The Tower of David – Venezuela’s Skyscraper Slum

The Tower of David is a 45-storey skyscraper in Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela. From the outside, there’s nothing too special about the tower, but on the inside, it’s hardly what you’d expect. In the past seven years, the abandoned building has been become the tallest slum in the world and home to over 3,000 homeless people in the city. It is greatly feared to be a hotbed of crime, drugs and gangs.

When construction began in the early 1990s, the Tower of David (locally known as Torre de David) was intended to be one of the most prominent structures of the new financial district. But when the developer died in 1994, the project was abandoned. By the year 2007, squatters had completely taken over the incomplete concrete skeleton. This actually isn’t too surprising, given the fact that Caracas is a city in need of almost two million homes.

For now, the residents seem to have made themselves very comfortable inside the tower. They enter the structure through an attached parking garage, and motorcycles are used to transfer residents up the first 10 floors. The first 28 floors are inhabited by families, but there are no elevators in the tower, just a single flight of stairs that they have no choice but to climb.

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San Antonio Prison – Venezuela’s Paradise for Incarcerated Criminals

The San Antonio prison on Venezuela’s Margarita Island is not your typical penal institution. Whilst in other penitentiaries the inmates are forced to obey strict regulations harshly imposed by armed guards, in this atypical slammer, it’s the prisoners who make the rules. From cooking their own food to watching TV, surfing the web on their laptops and managing illegal businesses on their cellphones, the San Antonio inmates are free to go about their day as they please. The only thing they can’t do is leave. Any attempt to escape can result in instant death courtesy of the sharpshooters up in the prison’s watchtowers. But thankfully, most of the prisoners are so happy here that a potential escape is the last thing on their minds.

At San Antonio, prisoners enjoy many privileges, have jobs and make real money. Some are barbers, some sell drugs while others manage the local cock fight club which generates a decent gambling revenue. There is even a guy who photoshops pictures of inmates leaning against a Hummer, using his own digital camera and laptop. Other lazy folk lie around in their air conditioned cells watching TV in the company of their wives or girlfriends who are free to come and go as they please. To the men’s satisfaction, a 54-unit women’s annex was built in 2009 which naturally caused the number of romantic liaisons between inmates to increase. The inmates’ children can also use the prison as a playground and spend the day swimming in one of the prison’s four pools. On weekends, the prison is even open for any visitors who want to have a good time of excess and depravity in its Reggaetón clubs. This really is a prison unlike any other.

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Los Santos Malandros – The Thug Saints of Venezuela

An idol of a man dressed in blue jeans, orange shirt, green baseball cap and a gun stuck in his belt is hardly something you’d expect to see at a place of worship. But it’s pretty common in Venezuela, the country with the highest murder rates in the world. Religious cults worship thugs and criminals who are long dead and gone. Even though the most widespread religion in Venezuela is Christianity, the worship of local thugs is so strong that it cannot be overlooked. The people who participate in such cult worship are more often than not, from the poorest sections of society.

With an average murder rate of about 14,000 a year, Venezuela isn’t exactly the safest place in the world. In such a scenario, I suppose it would be easiest for the people to relate to a God with whom they can connect, as compared to the Christian saints. And that is what makes the Maria Lionza cult so popular. According to this alternate religion, the dead co-exist with the living and they can be accessed through a few people who act as a medium.

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The Coromoto Ice-Cream Shop – 900 Weird Flavors and Counting

Coromoto, an ice cream shop in Merida, Venezuela, is probably the closest you can ever get to Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans from Harry Potter’s wizarding world. The place sells ice creams of virtually every flavor you can think of. Granted, you won’t get vomit or earwax, but you’re sure to come across a few strange flavors like onion, chili, mushrooms, wine and even garlic. The ones you’d probably never want to try are egg, sardines-in-brandy and macaroni-and-cheese flavored ice creams. Of course, for those who don’t like experimenting much, regular flavors like vanilla and strawberry are available as well.

Manuel da Silva Oliveira, a Portuguese immigrant, worked for years at large ice cream companies, before he realized the potential that exotic and unusual flavors held. He then proceeded to perfect an avocado-flavored ice cream, after wasting about 50 kg in his attempts. In 1980, he opened the Heladeria Coromoto, where the Avocado ice cream is now one of the most popular, and is paired with sweet corn, black bean, mango or coconut flavors. The shop sells the largest number of flavors in the world, holding a Guinness World Record for it. There are around 900 flavors to choose from, with 60 of them being served on any given day. Changes are made according to the season.

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