Restaurant Challenges Venezuelan President by Selling Empanadas

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Revenue agency representatives did not respond to our email seeking comment.

The Hernández sisters were initially devastated. But they filmed their interaction with regulators and sent it to one of their daughters. The young woman decided she could share her family’s experience with friends.

The video quickly spread online and soon outraged supporters began visiting the restaurant as if they were making a pilgrimage. Donations appeared at the door: spices to flavor the filling of empanadas, a 33-pound bag of cornmeal. Then funds started arriving from Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and even Germany.

Many people sent orders for empanadas, along with instructions for families to distribute them among local people in need.

Recently, in her restaurant, Corina Hernández thought that Mrs. Machado might have been sent by God himself. The government’s retaliation had become, paradoxically, a blessing.

“Our lives changed after María Corina came to buy our empanadas,” she said. “Everything got better.”

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