Political upheavals wherever they may be can affect the Big4 Pageants. The latest victim is Egypt, a nation that although overwhelmingly Muslim and Arab, is one of the ardent participant of major beauty pageants. We’ve seen similar absences before like that of Nicaragua and Lebanon. The year 2014 marks a year where political troubles in various continents are threatening the local pageantry scenes. Some countries may just sustain few bruises and could only mean a minor distraction. But some crisis could threaten the whole nation to the point that a pageantry circle of that country will simply collapse. Here are some of the hotspots this year:
1.) South Sudan – a newborn nation which split from Sudan is now on a virtual civil war. Although there are peacekeepers in place, several hundreds of thousands refugees are already spilling over to neighboring nations. This country reached its beauty pageant pinnacle in 2012 when Atong Demach became the African Continental Queen. With the bloody political crises in place, don’t expect any South Sudanese rep this year.
2.) Ukraine and the Crimea – Crimea as an autonomous region is represented at Miss Earth however, recent developments are spiraling into a major crisis that can bring back the political world into another Cold War. Crimea declared independence and while most thought that there will be a Miss Crimea soon at the three other Big4 Pageants (which is unlikely as both United States, Great Britain and Japan called the referendum as void), Russia expeditiously annexed the region. Ukraine could be at worst distracted from all the political upheavals which seen its President being booted out and replaced by nationalists.
3.) Venezuela – home of great beauty queens and currently holds too reigning titles, Venezuela is in a tipping point. A nationwide protest against a Chavista president is splitting the nation into two. Air Canada already suspended its flights to Caracas and it looks like the country will plunge into a failed state. Venezuela is no stranger to political crisis and has been consistent in sending delegates at Big4 Pageants. But the current crisis is different and could threaten the participation of the country.
4.) Thailand – the crisis seems to be weathering and Yingluck Shinawatra seems to be winning. But the deep divisions between the rural north, the urban Bangkok and the Muslim south is threatening to split the country apart. The crisis however is just one of the many in Thai history and this one will in no way hinder the participation of Thailand at Big4 pageants.