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.
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.