Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is promising to shave off his trademark moustache if his government doesn’t meet a year-end goal of handing over its millionth public housing unit to a family.
“If by December 31 I have not turned over home number one million, I will cut off my moustache in self-punishment so everyone will know that I failed,” Maduro said.
Maduro provoked laughter earlier this week, when he made a bet to trim his bushy facial hair if the goal isn’t met. He repeated the pledge Thursday at a ceremony to deliver 2,520 apartments in a housing project named for late President Hugo Chávez.
Chávez, who died in 2013, pledged to build an additional three million homes by 2019.
The president is struggling to improve an economy wracked by widespread shortages and increasing levels of triple-digit inflation.
Opponents mock the president with graffiti stencils of his jet-black moustache, but for many Venezuelans it’s a symbol of the former bus driver turned president’s working class roots.