Even as the economy shows signs of imploding in Venezuelan, the country still churns out beauty, as evidenced by Maria Gabriela Isler's winning the country's third Miss Universe title in six years.
Within minutes of Miss Isler's crowning in Moscow, President Nicolas Maduro sent his congratulations over Twitter, celebrating her performance as a "triumph for Venezuela."
Born in the city of Valencia, the 25-year-old Miss Isler works as an anchor for Venevision, a channel owned by the Cisneros business group. The 5-foot, 10-inch brunette edged out finalists from Spain, Brazil, Ecuador and the Philippines to take the crown in its 61st edition.
Venezuela has won more major international beauty competitions than any other nation, including now seven Miss Universe titles, and beauty queens rank alongside baseball players and oil as the country's biggest exports.
More recently this obsession with beauty has taken a backseat to everyday worsening shortages of basic goods which make it harder for families to put food on the table. Driving the crisis has been a collapse in the currency, which has plunged to a tenth of its official value in illegal black market trading.
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