A woman who accurately lobbed a mango at Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro's head has been promised a house in a story which has quickly gone viral in the country.
The 52-year-old head of state and former bus driver was driving the vehicle through the central state of Aragua to meet with supporters at a rally on Wednesday (22 April) when 54-year-old Marleny Olivo quite literally saw a window of opportunity to send a message to Maduro and tossed a mango at his head.
Maduro was struck just above the left ear and calmly picked it up before displaying it to the crowd. A message was scrawled on the piece of fruit. It read: "If you can, call me", along with her name and phone number.
"Marleny Olivo," the president said in a live television address later in the evening.
"We're going to invite her to my [TV and radio] show, 'In Touch with Maduro.' She had a housing problem, right? And, Marleny, I have approved it already, as part of the Great Housing Mission of Venezuela, you will get an apartment and it will be given to you in the next few hours. Tomorrow, no later than the day after tomorrow, we will give it to you."
Speaking to local media, Olivo said there were no bad intentions behind the fruit throwing.
"I didn't have paper available at that moment," she told El Pitazo TV. "What I had was a mango that I was about to eat because I was hungry.
"My dream is to own a home before I die," she added.
Maduro received a 28.2% approval rating by Venezuelans in April for his management of the country – almost a 50% drop from when he took office in 2013, according to a Datanalisis poll. The survey also showed that 45.8% are planning to vote for opposition candidates in this year's parliamentary election.
Venezuela possesses the world's largest proven crude oil reserves, but still lacks the U.S. dollars to import necessities such as food and medicine.
The country's generous financing mechanisms for free or subsidized crude oil shipments to Cuba and other Caribbean nations as well as $50 billion worth of repayments in oil and product shipments to China may have diminished oil revenue by as much as $24 billion in 2014, according to a Reuters analysis.