In Venezuela, food scarcity has become the norm. As a matter of fact, in 2017, people lost an average of 24 pounds because food was hard for many to find. As the economic and political crisis continues in the South American country, people have migrated to nearby countries, the United States, and overseas. But as the country’s citizens suffer, President Nicolás Maduro does not. In an Instagram post from today, Maduro is seen patronizing Nusr-Et Sandal Bedesteni, the expensive Istanbul restaurant of Nusret Gökçe, aka Salt Bae.
Nusret, who is wearing shades, hams it up for the cameras. As he cuts into a piece of meat, the chef – who also wears a low-cut V-neck and slicked back hair – sways his hips back and forth. In a follow-up video, Salt Bae gifts Maduro a branded T-shirt, prompting the president to throw up Nusret’s signature hand gesture – aka the one that made him a viral celebrity.
In the snippets of his time at the restaurant, it’s clear that for Maduro, eating is an enjoyable experience – even a spectacle. He chose to go into the restaurant of a famous chef – one who uses social media as a way to promote himself – so it’s hard not to take the dining option as a big eff you to his people.
Screenshot of nusr_et’s Instagram
Salt Bae has since removed the post (but he should know the internet is forever and people have receipts) after receiving backlash. Check out a few reactions below.