Tuesday, November 5th 2013 - 08:09 UTC

President Maduro declares that 'early Christmas” has arrived in Venezuela

Venezuela's Supreme Happiness ministry is rolling: President Nicolás Maduro declared official the arrival of “early Christmas”, nearly two months ahead of the actual holiday and the surprise was that all workers will receive the first two-thirds of their bonuses and pensions on November 10/11, which critics claim is only meant to get him votes in the municipal elections of December 8.

Last year Maduro said the spirit of Chavez 'appeared' to him in the form of a chirping bird

Over the weekend Maduro. lit the Nativity lights at the presidential Palace of Miraflores and said that the last two months of the year should be premonitory of what 2014 will be.

“Merry Christmas 2013, Christmas early, early victory, early happiness for the whole family” said Maduro adding that “we ”We wanted to declare the arrival of Christmas because we want happiness for everyone“.

The announcement comes after last week's 'miracle': Maduro said his mentor and former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's face briefly appeared to workers building a subway line in Caracas in the middle of the night. And let's not forget that last year Maduro made headlines across the world for saying he saw Chávez's spirit appearing to him in the shape of a bird that exchanged song messages.

On this occasion during a visit to the so-called Socialist Christmas Fair 2013, organized by the government in a central area of Caracas, Maduro exchanged a few words with actors posing as the Three Kings, sang traditional Venezuelan Christmas songs and witnessed the sale of typical holiday food and items.

The surprising announcement came a week after the creation of the new cabinet post of Deputy Minister of Supreme Happiness, which was greeted with jeers. Now critics say that with his generous Christmas measure, President Maduro is trying to ease off growing discontent over the country's economic crisis, food shortages and the spike of crime in Caracas.

”Early Christmas is the best vaccine for whoever wants to invent, whoever wants to invent rioting and violence. Early Christmas. Those who go about in bitterness will have a ‘villancico’ from Venezuelan composer Francisco Pacheco, a binge to cheer the soul,“ Maduro said.

Venezuela's economy is increasingly struggling ahead of the December 8 elections. Annual inflation is at more than 45% and the government is running short of foreign currency to the extent that the US dollar in the parallel market sells at nine/ten times the official price.

Maduro has blamed sabotage by the ”extreme right“ for both the blackouts and for food shortages, but he has provided no evidence.

His controversial Christmas bonus is the latest in a series of oddball moves since taking office in April. Last week, Maduro accused US-based social network Twitter of colluding with his foes in a ”massive attack” on his and other prominent government members' accounts.


29 comments Feed

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1 LEPRecon (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 08:42 am Report abuse
Ah the usual trick of the psuedo-dictator: trying to buy votes.

Hopefully the people of Venezuela will see right through this, and the newly formed ministry of 'supreme happiness'.

If people aren't happy, you have to ask yourself why: forming a ministry to force people to be happy won't work.
2 willi1 (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 10:01 am Report abuse
woodoo in perfection. even better than ck in arg. holy sh... - what the hell is the matter in south america??
3 Mendoza Canadian (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 10:12 am Report abuse
Amazing....simply amazing.
4 ElaineB (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 11:00 am Report abuse
Do you think it is really Sacha Baron Cohen?
5 Casper (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 11:04 am Report abuse
PDVSA owes $40BillionU.S. and that is expected to rise by another 3Billion by the end of the year. They've just borrowed another 4Billion from China and 1.5Billion from Chevron. They've just expropriated a couple of oil rigs from an American company to whom they owed money. Why pay when you can just take it?

Maduro is convinced that Latam should be 'liberated' from Twitter. Hasn't stopped him tweeting though.

Violence? Blame Spiderman.

How many assassination attempts has he survived now? By his account? Does anyone care?

They are fining any company that provides free infant formula to health centres. They think they can control women's breasts.

Inflation is 50% and they are doing what Argentina tried at the end of the last century - multiple currencies. That didn't work out too well as I recall.

Again by his account Mr Maduro has been visited by Hugo Chavez in the form of a little bird and latterly as a ghost.

And now he has established a Ministry of Supreme Happiness.

He is terrified and becoming ever more desperate. He is completely out of his depth and knows it and has no idea what to do about it.

I am sure that every night, when no-one can see him, he wishes he was still driving a bus.

And somewhere, perhaps in another dimension, George Orwell sighs...
6 GeoffWard2 (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 01:19 pm Report abuse
As early as is Maduro's Christmas, it was out-earlied by Harrods, England.
7 zathras (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 01:41 pm Report abuse
I've come to the conclusion that the only qualification to being the leader of a South American country is to be completely and utterly bonkers.
8 Rufus (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 02:02 pm Report abuse
@5 Casper

Spiderman? Blame Batman surely?

What fascinates me isn't so much that people who are this bonkers actually exist, but that people actually elect them. Admittedly the current crop of British politicians are nothing to write home about, but at least if they are insane they're not that public about it.
9 ElaineB (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 02:55 pm Report abuse
Maduro stands out as exceptional in South America where insanity is no impediment to being elected. Not just crazy but paranoid and so scared I bet he tries to run in four directions at once every time someone knocks on the door.

But his poor voters can only think in the immediacy, so if he hands them a few dollars and a roll of toilet paper in return for a vote, they are going to oblige. That was Chavez's plan all along. Promise the earth and give a little but not too much.
10 CabezaDura (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 03:16 pm Report abuse
@9 Do you really think he is that crazy and paranoid or is he just taking advantage of the ignorant and brainwashed constituency he has??
I can’t tell for sure
11 ElaineB (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 03:21 pm Report abuse
@10 It is a good question. I think he is shit-scared, out of his depth and more stupid than pig's dribble. But that is just a personal opinion. :)
12 CabezaDura (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 03:31 pm Report abuse
@11 Do you believe he is shit-scared of his own troops (i.e. Diosdado Cabello)??
13 ElaineB (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 03:51 pm Report abuse
@12 I think he is scared of his pet guinea pig. :)

Yes, he has reason to be afraid of everyone around him. Chavez ruled by dint of his powerful personality and Maduro does not have that. What he has is a fragile hold on power as Chavez's anointed successor but that is fading fast.

What do you think?
14 CabezaDura (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 04:26 pm Report abuse
@13 What I think is that there is a lot of juicy stuff going underground in Venezuela, We have had similar experiences of this kind with regimes in Argentina like the 1970s Peronist one, the military governments and now the kirchnerite one, where the succession process of personalist leaders is not conducted in a democratic and organic way internaly, so therefore the divisions always stir up under the carpet and continues with a power struggle amongst their own ranks that eventualy takes the whole country hostage.
But what we never had is an external army infiltrated and acting and participating like they have in VZLA. That makes things fascinating, but of course we get to know very little because the free media (which nowadays is only foreign) is handicapped in obtaining.

Chavez has let the Cubans in and one can only imagine what they are up to. There are probably thousands of military advisors, officers and agents in the whole country… The leaked audio of this chavista acolyte Mario Silva earlier this year informing a cuban top dog agent, exposes all the dirty laundry and the fear they have for Diosdado Cabello’s power and influence. Mario Silva fled to Cuba shortly after I don’t know if he has returned. Obviously the Cubans champion Maduro and not Cabello, but I don’t understand why they leaked it.


This is the audio is very rich in information but I haven't listend to all of it. It’s very long :( 

15 GeoffWard2 (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 07:22 pm Report abuse
'But what we never had is an external army infiltrated and acting and participating like they have in VZLA.' CabezaDura (#14)

Do you mean the British claim to British Guiana and the threat that little British Guiana posed to its big, close neighbour?
There is another history written here, and it is very different from the one you might have read.
16 CabezaDura (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 07:46 pm Report abuse
@15 GeoffWard2

Now, I have come across some siege mentality Brits around here, but you certainly take the medal!!! The sad part is you are old and you have this attitude towards things and matters that dont involve you at all.

READ, LEARN, ANALIZE AND THINK before asking stupid stuff

Jesus, It’s amazing...
17 Briton (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 08:01 pm Report abuse
Venezuela's Supreme Happiness ministry is rolling

and we thought only our health and safety was NUTS lol
18 agent999 (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 08:12 pm Report abuse
I wonder where Doveoverdover !!!
19 GFace (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 08:28 pm Report abuse
“Girl, that's JUST not your look.”

(Someone really needs a fashion consultant that isn't sniffing glue.)
20 reality check (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 08:51 pm Report abuse
Looks like he is singing, “Froggy went a courtin he did ride, Hu Hu!”

I'm sure they cropped the photo so we could not see his ukelele.
21 GeoffWard2 (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 09:41 pm Report abuse
CabezaDura (#16)

You seem a bright young man. How about telling me what on earth you are talking about.
22 CabezaDura (#) Nov 05th, 2013 - 10:00 pm Report abuse
@21 Nope, I dont think I further need to explain....If you read Mr Cardenas article you will understand what Im talking about whith much more light. Thats why I posted that link
23 GeoffWard2 (#) Nov 06th, 2013 - 10:46 am Report abuse
'But what we never had is an external army infiltrated and acting and participating like they have in VZLA.' CabezaDura (#14)

Ah! Now I see where you're coming from.
... A bit like the US 'advisers' in Columbia, etc, and in old Vietnam,
and Russians 'advisers' throughout the old USSR.
The one to watch out for here is the arrival of Chinese advisers - firstly to build the Continent's transport infrastructure, then to 'advise' the Continent's military enterprises.
24 CabezaDura (#) Nov 06th, 2013 - 12:19 pm Report abuse
But in this case it’s a matter of survival for the Castro brother’s regime taking control of Venezuela.
25 Casper (#) Nov 06th, 2013 - 02:45 pm Report abuse

Fidel can't have longer to live I would've thought.
26 CabezaDura (#) Nov 06th, 2013 - 03:39 pm Report abuse
@25 Yes, but history has proven that these dictators believe and think they can go on further and further, they will be in their death beds and still be planning on how to keep on in power as if they were immortal
27 Casper (#) Nov 06th, 2013 - 03:56 pm Report abuse

I'm amazed the wily old bugger has managed to stay alive and in power as long as he has. I thought Raul might be nudging Cuba in a more pragmatic, less didactic direction, but that link you provided suggests otherwise.

Considering how close the election was the course of action they seem to be pursuing seems very risky to me. I think they have gotten very dependent on that cheap oil.
28 LEPRecon (#) Nov 07th, 2013 - 10:26 am Report abuse
@27 Casper

Maybe in Venezuela it is considered bad luck to kill mentally deranged people, and that is why he's still alive.

They should be planning on a nice padded cell for him though.
29 Casper (#) Nov 07th, 2013 - 11:46 am Report abuse
@28 LEPRecon

Did you think I was talking about Maduro? I would never describe this buffoon as wily, why Chavez chose him to succeed him is a mystery to me, and yes, I agree, a padded cell is looking increasingly likely to be a part of his future.

My earlier reference was to Fidel Castro who is now 87yrs old and actually has survived assassination attempts ( rather than imagined ones ). He was pretty ill a few years ago when he stood down in favour of his brother but seems to have recovered.

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