Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) tweeted the address and phone number of an internet celebrity chef - famous for his appearance in the ‘Salt Bae’ meme - who hosted Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro for dinner.
The salt-sprinkling chef, whose name is Nusret Gökçe, hosted Maduro at his Istanbul restaurant over the weekend, and showed off his famous guest in a now-deleted instagram post. Maduro feasted on a $275 steak, smoked cigars with Gökçe, and described his visit to the eatery as a “once in a lifetime moment.”
Venezuelan opposition activists were furious, accusing Maduro of extravagant dining while millions of his countrymen struggle to eat and two thirds of the population are said to have lost around 24 pounds of body weight due to malnutrition.
“While Venezuelans suffer and die of hunger, Nicolas Maduro and Cilia (his wife) enjoy one of the priciest restaurants in the world, all with money stolen from the Venezuelan people,”
opposition leader Julio Borges.
Mientras los venezolanos sufren y mueren por hambre, Nicolás Maduro y Cilia disfrutando de uno de los restaurantes más costoso del mundo, todo esto a costa del dinero robado al pueblo venezolano. pic.twitter.com/ScRZHAsYYM— Julio Borges (@JulioBorges) September 17, 2018
Others joined in,
the chef of “feeding the pain of a people and the ego of a dictator.”
Mientras el pueblo venezolano 🇻🇪 pasa hambre y muchos sufren del desgobierno, Maduro le pone “sal” a la herida de un pueblo burlándose de el...— Juan Fernando Flores (@juanflores18) September 18, 2018
¡Salt Bae, no hay razón para enorgullecerse o celebrar, al contrario, alimentaste el dolor de un pueblo y el ego de un dictador! pic.twitter.com/Jv15qSlAPV
Among the indignant was Rubio, who has called for regime change in Venezuela. He first slammed the “weirdo” Salt Bae for hosting the “overweight dictator of a nation where 30% of people eat only once a day & infants are suffering from malnutrition.”
The senator then discovered that the salt-slinging meme chef owns a steakhouse in downtown Miami, tweeting out its address and phone number “in case anyone wanted to call.”
Rubio’s doxxing earned him some praise from the right, but also some sharp criticism. Senators, one commenter argued, “shouldn’t harass their constituents.”
The government in Caracas has been a constant target for Rubio, who called Venezuela “the new Cuba” in a 2014 Senate speech. Since then, Rubio has pushed for tougher sanctions against the Latin American country, has encouraged a military coup against Maduro, and has spoke in favor of US military intervention in Venezuela.
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