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Venezuela's Mariem Claret Velazco Garcia wins Miss International 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Mariem Claret Velazco Garcia is Miss International 2018.

She was crowned at the end of the pageant’s coronation night on Friday, November 9 at the Tokyo Dome City Hall in Japan by her predecessor, Indonesia’s Kevin Lilliana.

It also happened to be Mariem's birthday.

"This is the best birthday wish I ever had, and this one goes to Venezuela. To all my people back in my country, I love you all," she said after receiving the award.

During the pageant, Mariem gave a speech on her wish to promote reading and education among children.

"In Venezuela, I have devoted a great part of my time serving as a storyteller for less favored populations, and I’m living proof that reading is the way towards knowledge. My goal as Miss International is that every child around the world have access to books that speak about tolerance, respect, and happiness," she said.

"I firmly believe in the power of dreams to change societies and think if everyone of us takes on the duty of reading a story to a child, that child will be more educated and the world will be happier."

Meanwhile, the Philippines’ bet Ahtisa Manalo finished as 1st-runner-up. – Rappler.com