At a time when the citizens of the South American dictatorship are struggling with wide-scale civil unrest, supply shortages on basic necessities, human rights violations at the hands of the ruling Socialist Party, and the collapse of their economy, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs spent $626,895 on the feminist "Venezuelan Project."
According to Blacklock's Reporter, which broke the story Wednesday:
Expenses included $66,822 for “greater public profile" of the female members of the Venezuelan Interim Government. Four women legislators will be flown on a transatlantic publicity tour from Caracas to Brussels, Geneva, the Hague, Paris, New York and Washington, D.C.
Other expenses included $125,685 to pay an executive assistant to accompany Venezuelan legislators and the $110,880 expense of hiring a “Venezuelan Project Officer” on a sixteen-month contract.
The department also agreed to pay $5,216 on room rentals for “diplomatic outreach” and $1,280 for Twitter and Facebook ads “to amplify communications product visibility.”
The expensive promotion of female opposition leaders on the world stage didn't help their chances at the ballot box on Sunday. The New York Times reports:
The ruling Socialist Party won at least 19 of Venezuela’s 23 governorships, as well as the majority of mayoral offices, despite presiding over a destroyed economy and having the support, polls show, of only about 15 percent of the people. One in five Venezuelans has fled the country under Mr. Maduro’s rule, and 95 percent of those who remain don’t earn enough to meet basic needs, according to a study by the country’s main universities.
In 2017, skyrocketing inflation and food shortages prompted hungry Venezuelans to eat zoo animals for survival.