A photograph posted on the social media site Instagram by the daughter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has stirred controversy throughout the Latin American nation and drawn ironic, mocking copycats on Tumblr and other micro-blogging sites.
The photo of 14-year old Rosinés Chávez holding a large amount of U.S. bills has angered many in Venezuela as her father's policies have made foreign currency tough to come by.
Marisabel Rodríguez, Rosinés' mother and Chávez's second wife, defended her daughters actions. “I told her that her mistake wasn’t to take the picture, but rather posting it on a medium where there are ignorant people who don’t respect others,” Rodríguez said on her Twitter account Jan. 22, according to Bloomberg.
Rosinés Chávez has remained quite about why she took the photograph or why she decided to publish it.
Under Chávez Venezuela implemented strict currency controls in 2003 to help stem the tide of capital flight and sure up its international reserves. Venezuelans are restricted to buying U.S. dollars at the fixed rate of 4.3 bolivars per dollar for spending on travel and Internet purchases.
Those citizens who don't receive approval to buy dollars at the official fixed rate can end up paying up to 8.5 bolivars per dollar on the black market.
"Rosinés’s picture, for many Venezuelans, highlights the parallel system at work: easy access for those close to Chavez, restrictions for those with no connections," wrote Juan Forero of the Washington Post.
Rosinés Chávez's photos have drawn heat in the past for what some argue flaunt a comfortable, capitalist lifestyle under the roof of the so-called socialist leader. Her Twitter profile has a photo of Rosinés posing with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, who thanks to her father’s influence she met while he was on tour in Venezuela.
The photo with the money, however, has become the most popular with ironic reproductions being posted on Tumblr where the dollar bills are replaced with scarce items under Chávez's rule such as cooking oil and corn flour.
The photo has even inspired a new verb in Venezuelan slang “rosinesing."
Follow Andrew O'Reilly on Twitter @aoreilly84.