Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has a lot on his plate these days. After months of violently suppressing the democratic will and functioning of his beleaguered nation, Maduro has run Venezuela up onto the precipice of defaulting on its debts. The political crisis has exacerbated the economic crisis, which has, in turn, fueled an ongoing humanitarian one where there is not enough food to feed the country and not enough medicine to keep it well. As a solution, Maduro’s government launched a scheme this year to encourage Venezuelans to breed rabbits so they can eat them. So that’s where we’re at on this, policy-wise. Meanwhile, Maduro has been mocked for managing to be overweight while the rest of the country starves.
Enter the empanada. During a live TV address Thursday, which local media are required to cover and can meander on for hours at a time, Maduro, sitting at a desk, glances around, appears to think he’s off camera, and proceeds to turn off his microphone and dive face first for the doughy treat behind his desk. The Venezuelan president then shoves half of the empanada in his mouth before the camera cuts away.