SCANDAL! Veruska Ljubisavljevic Sues Miss Venezuela Org!

The Miss Venezuela organization that Osmel Sousa left is in such a bind even after his departure. His last crowned Miss Venezuela Mundo 2017, Veruska Ljubisavljevic, is suing the MVO for damages due to her non-participation in MW this year. It was only informed earlier that due to the MW age cut off of 26 years old, she won’t be able to compete in the pageant in China this year.

Veru, on her official Instagram page, has this to say:
I have always known that as citizens (and as human beings) we all have rights and responsibilities. Fulfilling the responsibilities acquired is a serious obligation, and I have always faced them with all the aplomb and best possible disposition. But it is also an obligation to defend the rights of equality, non-discrimination and individual freedoms, when these are threatened or violated.
As is known throughout Venezuela, I was crowned Miss Venezuela World thanks to my own efforts and sacrifices, to the support and affection of my family and friends. I have been very disciplined with my obligations and the requirements of my presence and the use of my image and my name as the representative of Venezuela in the Miss World.

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Siempre he sabido que como ciudadanos (y como seres humanos) todos tenemos derechos y responsabilidades. Cumplir con las responsabilidades adquiridas es una seria obligacion, y siempre las he encarado con todo el aplomo y mejor disposición posible. Pero también es una obligación defender los derechos de igualdad, no discriminacion y libertades individuales, cuando estas son amenazadas o vulneradas. Como es conocido por toda Venezuela, fui coronada Miss Venezuela Mundo gracias a mis esfuerzos y sacrificios propios, al apoyo y cariño de mi familia y mis amigos.  He sido muy disciplinada con mis obligaciones y los requerimientos de mi presencia y el uso de mi imagen y mi nombre como la representante de Venezuela en el Miss Mundo. He llevado un mensaje de integración y respeto como bandera y entiendo que el respeto a los demás siempre empieza con la valoración y el respeto a uno mismo, por eso al haber sido electa representante de la mujer Venezolana en el próximo Miss World, no puedo permitir que me usen arbitrariamente como mujer sin exigir respeto y hacer valer mis derechos. En una reunion no formal las señoras Nina Sicilia y Maria Gabriela Isler me informarón que mi participación en el Miss World no sería efectiva. Entonces por qué en la noche del Miss Venezuela 2017 se permitió que se me otorgará la banda y corona de Miss World.? Por qué informarme de tal decisión tanto tiempo después.? Recordemos que la figura gerencial del Miss Venezuela cambió, pero siempre ha sido la misma organización y son ellos los responsables de esta injusticia, no alguna persona en particular. Apartir de este momento estoy en la obligación de hacer valer mis derechos como ciudadana , como mujer, y como Venezolana, exigiendo que me sea restituido mi total y absoluto derecho de representar a mi país VENEZUELA 🇻🇪 en la próxima Edición del #MissWorld . Un derecho adquirido de buena lid y valorado como la gran oportunidad de representar a mi país ante el mundo. A todas las personas que me han apoyado quiero hacerles llegar el más sincero de los abrazos por estar conmigo, darme aliento y fuerzas en momentos tan difíciles. Gracias Venezuela 💛💙❤ 🇻🇪

A post shared by Veruska Ljubisavljevic (@verulju) on

I have carried a message of integration and respect as a flag and understand that respect for others always begins with the valuation and respect for oneself, that’s why having been elected representative of the Venezuelan woman in the next Miss World, I can not afford that they use me arbitrarily as a woman without demanding respect and asserting my rights. In a non-formal meeting, ladies Nina Sicilia and Maria Gabriela Isler informed me that my participation in Miss World would not be effective. So why on the night of the Miss Venezuela 2017 did you allow me to be awarded the Miss World band and crown? Why inform me of such a decision so much later? Remember that the managerial figure of Miss Venezuela changed, but it has always been the same organization and it is they who are responsible for this injustice, not any one person in particular. From this moment I am obliged to assert my rights as a citizen, as a woman, and as a Venezuelan, demanding that I be restored my total and absolute right to represent my country VENEZUELA 🇻🇪 in the next edition of #MissWorld. An acquired right of good fight and valued as the great opportunity to represent my country before the world.
To all the people who have supported me I want to send you the most sincere hug to be with me, to give me encouragement and strength in such difficult times.
Gracias Venezuela.
SOURCES:
* http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/entretenimiento/organizacion-miss-venezuela-suspendio-proxima-edicion-por-denuncia_248421
* http://www.noticias24.com/gente/noticia/165742/que-escandalo-veruska-ljubisavljevic-tramito-demanda-contra-venevision-detalles/

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Nina, Jacqueline & Molly: New MVO Executive Committee

A former Miss International, a former Miss World and a former Miss Universe winner are being tapped to be part of the new executive committee of the Miss Venezuela pageant.

After a tumultuous past weeks, the MVO is finally looking up to the light with a move that has pageant fans both relieved and pleasantly surprised. Earlier the MVO thru its official Instagram account have posted clues of three new additions to its executive committee that  will help run the pageant. Miss International 1985 Nina Sicilia, Miss World 1995 Jacqueline Aguilera Marcano and newly-wed Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler have been clued in as the new members of the MVO. The former beauty queens would be in charge of organizing this year’s edition and preparing the current winners whom will be participating in the next Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss International pageants. It is expected that all three former winners will have a hand at leading the organization together.

The three past queens are a great addition to the organization that has been beset with allegations of sex trafficking and prostitution. With these women at the helm, it is expected that these kinds of scandals are going to be minimized in the future… We say congratulations to the new MVO directors!

Sthefany Gutierrez on Politics and Sexual Harassment

One of the news articles that I have saved after the crowning of Miss Venezuela Sthefany Gutiérrez last year was this article about her views on a political career and sexual harassment. Now the issue is quite a huge news considering the alleged prostitution scandal that is creeping along the halls of the Miss Venezuela organization.


Asked by EFE about the sexual harassment and abuse denounced by a number of models and actresses, the young beauty did not hesitate to repudiate those evils within the world of showbiz, and urged Venezuelan women not to keep quiet when such aggression occur.
“The person who feels sexually harassed has to report it immediately, whether in the entertainment industry or in ordinary life. It’s a very delicate matter, I believe no woman should have to go through that, because we women deserve respect,” she said.
In that sense, she asked that women overcome their fear and publicly expose whoever is “harassing” or “disgracing” them, without letting too much time go by.



It is ironic that she would be saying that back then and now the issue has now hit closer to home. I wonder what is her thoughts on Osmel Sousa’s alleged involvement in the prostitution of Miss Venezuela girls. Would she be trained to remain neutral to such politically-laden question as it puts the credibility of the Miss Venezual organization at peril? Would she shy away from it now that it hits the organization very terribly?
Whatever the case maybe, she should be ready for that come Miss Universe pageant because it may well be asked in closed-door interviews…
SOURCE:
http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2446078&CategoryId=10717

Migbelis Castellanos Speaks on the Miss Venezuela Scandal

The Miss Venezuela pageant has closed doors last March 21st for an internal investigations after accusations surfaced that some former pageant candidates would perform sexual favors to get wealthy sponsors to pay for surgeries and designer clothing. The scandal has been brewing on social media for weeks now with some past candidates flinging allegations of involvement. The controversy also involved Venezuelan government officials who allegedly misused government funds.

Former Miss Venezuela winner Migbelis Castellanos has spoken up and spilled some  beans on the issue.
Castellanos, who was Miss Venezuela in 2013, said she never had any indecent proposals but admitted that she got invitations to meet with wealthy businessmen who could pay for expensive things she needed for the pageant. Although she turned them down, she adds that she witnessed other contestants received special treatment. “In my year there, you would see a girl get there in public transportation or in a taxi, and three months later that girl had her own car, an apartment, and they came from dubious origins,” she revealed.

Her revelations has seriously put the embattled Miss Venezuela organization at a stance that they would really have to do ‘in-house cleaning’. The MVO is considered the most successful pageant at producing international winners with a record of 20 alpha pageant crowns including a Miss Universe back to back win in 2008-09.
SOURCE:
http://people.com/chica/former-miss-universe-alicia-machado-on-the-miss-venezuela-pageant-scandal/

A Lenten Introspection on the Internal Investigation of Miss Venezuela

The Cisneros / Miss Venezuela Organization has released its official statement on its MV Website in regards to the shutting down of operations for an internal investigations on allegations of trafficking and prostitution of former queens and candidates.
The first MVO memo was published March 15 was addressed to take on the allegations head on by denying knowledge and/or involvement…
In relation to the recent statements made through social networks by anonymous blogs and some people who were related to the Miss Venezuela pageant ; Cisneros Media and Venevision , companies responsible for the management of the Miss Venezuela Organization , wish to clarify that:
• They are not aware of the facts described, nor are they involved in any of the activities that their employees, candidates, advisors, representatives or associates perform outside of the own actions of the contest.
• Strongly reject any attempt to involve them in acts other than the nature of their activity and is unaware of any type of relationship or act that could violate the spirit, ethics and values ​​of the event.
• They are focused on the restructuring of the Miss Venezuela Organization and the creation of a Steering Committee committed to professionally training talent with internal and external beauty, capable of competing successfully in any national and international scenario; as well as continuing to provide quality entertainment for all Venezuelans.
Cisneros Media and Venevision will ensure that the Miss Venezuela Organization and the team of professionals that conform it, continue to fulfill their ethical and professional commitment, contributing and improving the excellence of the organization and the most important beauty pageant in the country.

Below is a Google translated version of the latest memo published last March 30…
I kindly address you with the purpose of alerting you as informed citizens about the recent campaign of false and tendentious accusations and accusations that have circulated through social networks, involving Mr. Jonathan Blum , president of Cisneros Media , as a participant of a bribery and immorality corruption network, parallel to the Miss Venezuela Organization .

All these false accusations have appeared on the social network Instagram and Twitter, belonging to profiles of third parties interposed, anonymous and interested in publicly disseminating negative information against the good name, dignity and reputation of Mr. Jonathan Blum .
Therefore, in my capacity as Chief Operating Officer of Cisneros , with great respect and consideration, I warn you and I urge you not to echo that campaign generated by a person or persons who have not yet publicly clarified what their true wishes are. Interests, little concern to sully and smear before public opinion the honor, reputation and prestige of Mr. Jonathan Blum , the contest Miss Venezuela and who have been and will continue to be their candidates and queens of beauty.
It is worth noting that we, the directors of Cisneros , categorically reject any type of campaign that, based on a biased and ill-sanctioned interpretation of freedom of expression and the right to information, seeks to harm and undermine the good name, prestige and reputation of institutions and people who enjoy the appreciation, affection and admiration of the public. That is why all of us are against a harmful and damaging campaign against Mr. Jonathan Blum , a person of our highest esteem, who has devoted a large part of his professional career to the Miss Venezuela Organization , he has contributed remarkably to the success of the contest and has been leading with great success our division Cisneros Media.
In that sense, it is also worth mentioning that, with our greatest and absolute support, Mr. Jonathan Blum, in his role as President of Cisneros Media , is leading an internal review process within the Miss Venezuela Organization to determine whether some of the of their associates, during the course of their efforts within the contest, incurred in some type of activity that could have broken the values, principles and ethics of the contest.
While this revision work is being carried out, Mr. Jonathan Blum, together with other executives and executives of the Organization, will be very focused and focused on the complete reorganization of the Miss Venezuela, in the conformation of a new Beauty Committee that will be integrated by professionals absolutely committed to continue, and even to improve the lineage of the contest, so that this continues to be a quality entertainment for all Venezuelans and, finally, in the implementation of a representative figure of the misses -similar to that of the Ombudsman -, responsible for channeling any concerns on issues that could violate their values, principles and rights or that violate the code of ethics of the contest.
We also want to inform you that, through our legal department, if it becomes necessary, you will not hesitate to initiate the legal actions that correspond to us legitimately, in order to safeguard and protect the good name, honor and reputation of the pageant Miss Venezuela , its executives and even the misses. Continue reading “A Lenten Introspection on the Internal Investigation of Miss Venezuela”

Osmel Sousa Speaks Out!

Osmel Sousa breaks his silence! Here is his statement on his official Instagram account, @zardelabelleza…

First part. In times of confusion and irresponsibility, let me be frank, direct and responsible. For more than 40 years directing the reins of Miss Venezuela, I only have today as heritage the results of a long and laborious but finally rewarding work. My riches are in memories, my millions are in applause and my greatest satisfaction is the success and projection that the event (pageant) gave to countless Venezuelan women (unique, special, talented) whom I carry forever in my heart and who are the only jewels that I keep in my treasures. During all that time, I always acted for their benefit. I was a friend, advisor, travel companion, supporter, teacher and confessor of all of them and together we went through a thousand battles, celebrated triumphs and wept defeats together. Always giving all our effort to praise the name of Venezuela in the world. No one imagines the pain that I feel seeing the name of Venezuela sullied these past few days and see how they intend to destroy achievements and reputations that took years of tireless effort to build. For more than 40 years I was president of Miss Venezuela, I am not now simply because of important differences with company executives that in recent years have been dedicated to undermining my authority and moving professionally to the point of contradicting my decisions and unauthorized openly in my work and before my work team. So, it just did not make sense to continue exercising my work. It seems unbelievable that I have to deny something that in itself is absolutely and inherently false, but for purposes of clarity and responsibility I say: At no time have I acted to the detriment of any of the thousands of candidates that passed under my command in the Miss Venezuela. My job and my vocation was always to protect the candidates above all else until reaching the point of overprotection. That can give faith to thousands of candidates who went through La Quinta.

The treatment and interaction with all the candidates of course was not the same as everyone has their own personality and attitudes differ. But respect for them as a person and the demands placed on them as professionals and representatives of the values ​​and beauty of the Venezuelan woman were always the common denominator. I recognize that some of them may have perceived some flaw in my treatment of their person and I also recognize that there is a fault on my part. If that were the case, I am now as I have always been in the greatest disposition to converse, to listen to them and to assume my responsibility in any slip or failure that I may have inadvertently committed. My career and my achievements give absolute faith of my professional and faultless conduct for more than 40 years. Achievements that would be impossible if I had acted in bad faith or using other people especially people under my responsibility and protection as a bargaining chip to profit financially. At this point, my austere and simple life and my few material possessions answer by themselves to any suggestion of undue riches. The place that I occupy in the heart of the Venezuelans and the love and respect that they profess to me in every encounter in any corner of Venezuela and the world I do not change it for all the money, much less I would exchange it for a handful of coins.  – Osmel Sousa. 

Prostitution Scandal Rocks the Miss Venezuela Organization!

Prostitution allegations has rocked the Miss Venezuela Organization!

Allegations on the Miss Venezuela organization and Osmel Sousa for pimping out girls to businessmen and government officials

Allegations surfaced that the Miss Venezuela pageant operated as a prostitution and trafficking network for women and at the center of it all is the man that brought countless crowns for the country, Osmel Sousa. According to reports from several Venezuelan media, Sousa would have subjected his candidates and queens to degrading acts, selling them to sponsors who paid for them high sums of money, to be able to pay for their participation in the contest. In the process, MVO would obtain resources that would allow them to support the famous mansion of beauty.

Venezuelan journalist, Patricia Poleo unleashed a controversy after accusing Osmel, of ‘prostituting’ candidates to government officials in exchange for ‘sponsorship’ money, operations, gifts and property. She called Sousa for using his connections and position at the MVO to procure meetings to businessmen and officials who would act as pageant ‘sponsors’. In return these sponsors and officials would support these candidates for pricey surgeries, apartments, gifts and other amenities to support the candidates in the local and/or international pageants. A hefty cut is said to be given to Osmel and the organization to be able to live comfortably in Venezuela and in the US. “Osmel is looking for the American nationality and, therefore, must live in the US“, says Julio Rodríguez Matute, beauty contest historian.
The Miss Venezuela pageant has denied such claims through the official Instagram account of the organization. Cisneros Media and Venevisión refuted the allegations that has named employees, advisers, sponsors and partners, as well as candidates as accomplices of such ‘unlawful acts’. It further stated that, “The companies responsible for managing the Miss Venezuela Organization wish to clarify that they strongly reject any attempt to involve them in acts other than the nature of their activity and are unaware of any type of relationship or act that could violate the spirit, ethics and values ​​of the event.” They also clarified that they are currently working on the restructuring of the team, after the departure of Osmel. Continue reading “Prostitution Scandal Rocks the Miss Venezuela Organization!”

#Nostalgia: Miss Universe 1998 1st Runner up, Veruska Tatiana Ramirez

Her’s was the Cinderella story that could have been made into a Hollywood movie. Meet Miss Venezuela 1997 and Miss Universe 1998 1st runner up, Veruska Tatiana Ramirez.

Born with a commanding height of 5’11 1/2″ with green eyes and light brown hair, Veruska was in every inch a model and beauty queen material. Then 18 year old was said to have been encouraged to join the Miss Venezuela pageant by reigning queen Marena Bencomo after she asked for an autograph. It is said that Veruska was cleaning houses to houses to make ends meet as she was abandoned by her parents at age 9 to a neighbor that took her in.

In Miss Venezuela, she was Miss Tachira and was among the tallest in her batch. She was also the recipient of the Most Beautiful Eyes award. Her win as Miss Venezuela that year would propel her to one of the most well-contested Miss Universe pageant a year later.
Veruska was styled a bit more softer for her MU stint. Her eyes looked softer, her hair was dyed auburn/mahogany and her styling was always on point. So it is no surprise that she almost dominated the entire pageant. She had the face of a goddess, the body of a supermodel and a very compelling backstory that would make anyone teary-eyed.

The finals night was a battle between her and Trinidad & Tobago’s Wendy Fitzwilliam. Veruska’s finals night swimsuit score was 9.85 from eight judges that year, beating out Alicia Machado’s highest score of 9.82 back in 1996. Until that point she had the highest swimsuit score at the televised finals to date. A feat that would be beaten later by Oxana Fedorova in 2002 with her score of 9.88. Up until now, those three ladies have the highest televised swimsuit scores ever in Miss Universe history.

During the tense final 3 moments, it became a toss between her and Wendy after Puerto Rico’s Joyce Giraud gave a convoluted answer to the final question. While Veruska answered directly to the point, it was Wendy’s powerful answer that really gave her a boost for the title. When it was just the last two of them standing, Veruska had a very nervous look on her. The disappointment was visible on her face when she was named 1st runner up. Nevertheless, Veruska has made her country proud of her accomplishments.
It was interesting to note that a year prior, Venezuela was also 1st runner up in MU with Marena Bencomo. And that her fellow Miss Venezuela 1997 titlist, Daniela Kosan Montcourt, also became 1st runner up in Miss International 1998 and was the winner of Nuestra Belleza Internacional 1997. Other member of her  MV top 8 also fared well in other competitions: Patricia Fuenmayor won Reina Sudamericana 1997 (before it became (Reina Hispanoamericana) and Jairam Navas won Reinado Internacional del Café 1998.
Since then Veruska has made a name for herself as a model, host and a TV personality. She can still be seen active in Miss Venezuela activities several years after her reign. And she is still as gorgeous now as the day she won a decade ago.

Osmel Sousa: The End of an Era in Pageantry

In an Instagram post, Miss Venezuela’s main man, Osmel Sousa has made public his retirement…

Realice muchos sueños, traje muchos triunfos y di alegria a una nación. Hoy decido retirarme de la presidencia de la Organización Miss Venezuela por la puerta grande, por la misma puerta que entre hace casi 40 años de la mano de mi gran amigo Gustavo Cisneros. Continuaré luchando y trabajando por un mejor país, de la mano de Dios y de todos ustedes. Mil gracias por tantas alegrías #MissVenezuela. Nos seguiremos viendo…
I made many dreams, I brought many triumphs and I gave joy to a nation. Today I decide to retire from the presidency of the Miss Venezuela Organization through the big door, through the same door that I entered almost 40 years ago with the help of my great friend Gustavo Cisneros. I will continue fighting and working for a better country, hand in hand with God and all of you. A thousand thanks for so many joys #MissVenezuela. We will continue to see each other…

We all knew that this day would be coming but its painful sting doesn’t hurt any less. He has been looking frail for some time now and that age is taking its toll. That was evident when I first met him in Miami, then again in Las Vegas (twice). So I was glad to have been met him in person.
Osmel is part of the old guard of pageantry. One that has amassed  7 Miss Universe crowns, 6 Miss World crowns, 1 Miss Earth crown and 7 Miss International crowns. Winning 21 titles under a 40 year career at the helm of La Quinta Venezuela house is no mean feat… one that will takes years, even decades or a millennium, to surpass.

Special Feature: #HealingVenezuela

The three most recent Miss Universe titleholders from Venezuela have come together for the first time in a united effort with AID for AIDS International to launch Healing Venezuela, a new fundraising effort to bring humanitarian aid to Venezuelan babies affected by malnutrition. The campaign launched today and features Maria Gabriela Isler, Miss Universe 2013; Stefanía Fernandez, Miss Universe 2009; and, Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008; along with three exclusive t-shirt designs from designer Ricardo Seco’s Spring 2018 collection, Healing. The t-shirts are on sale at www.healingvenezuela.com and all proceeds will support the mission of abating infantile malnutrition in Venezuela.

According to Caritas Internationalis, 54% of children in Venezuela have some level of nutritional deficiency and 5-6 children die of malnutrition every week.  AID for AIDS International has over 20 years of experience addressing the humanitarian crisis surrounding access to treatment for HIV and AIDS and has provided medicines to thousands of patients around the world who without their help would go without critical treatment. The organization intends to leverage that experience to bring relief to Venezuelan children suffering from malnutrition and has a goal of raising enough funds to provide infant formula to mothers who cannot breastfeed due to their health condition so that they can feed 5,000 babies throughout the first 24 months of their life.*
Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008
I’m joining the Healing Venezuela campaign due to the seriousness of child malnutrition in the country, causing the loss of a large number of innocent children. Malnutrition affects children not only Physically but psychologically, this is a humanitarian emergency that requires the immediate and active support of all and we are asking for your help! I am lucky to be one of the first to wear this special t-shirt and now you can have it too!. Every t-shirt could save a life. Visit http://www.healingvenezuela.com and buy yours for only $30.
Stefania Fernandez, Miss Universe 2009 (translated from Google)
Today I have joined for the first time with my two sisters to be an echo of a painful and real crisis that is experienced in our beloved Venezuela. The crisis of child malnutrition is a humanitarian emergency. 4 out of 10 children do not grow adequately due to malnutrition; Approximately 5 to 6 children die every week for this same reason. Alarming and painful! – – Let’s not let our children die; our future! – – Thanks to the initiative and effort of @aidforaids you can join this cause. Visit http://www.healingvenezuela.com – – With your purchase of this shirt, you will be donating the equivalent of one month of infant formula. Let us be the ones who heal Venezuela!
Gabriela Isler, Miss Universe 2013 (Translated from Google)
We were lucky to be the first to wear these special shirts, and now you can also wear one ✨. . We all know that the crisis of child malnutrition in #Venezuela is a humanitarian emergency and we have to take action, that is why we join the beautiful initiative of @aidforaids 🇻🇪 … Visit http://www.healingvenezuela.com and, starting at USD $ 30, purchase yours: each donation can provide the equivalent of one month of infant formula 👶🏽👶🏻🥛… T-shirt designs are exclusive to @secoricardo 🙌🏻. . We are honored to be able to share this campaign with all of you, and from now on we thank you for joining us💛💙❤ •

Several weeks ago, I have read a harrowing New York  Times article on the severity of the malnutrition problem in Venezuela. Hospitals running out of medicines to treat children, parents scurrying everywhere for infant formula, doctors exasperated with the lack of basic hospital tools for treatment, families stick thin and burying infants and children in tiny coffins… It was a heartbreaking read. And I hope everyone would take time to read the NY Times article to get a full picture of the situation…
So to shed light on this issue, I thought it would be a good way to share how anyone in the world could help one life. This post may have been several weeks late but I still hope that it could still stir up goodwill among everyone in the pageant industry.
SOURCES:
* https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/01/18/1296626/0/en/AID-FOR-AIDS-INTERNATIONAL-LAUNCHES-HEALING-VENEZUELA-TO-HELP-THE-LIVES-OF-5-000-INFANTS.html
* Instagram accounts of @dayanamendoza, @gabrielaisler and @stefaniafernandezk