Is Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro crafty or crazy? You decide.
Over the weekend, Maduro officially declared that Christmas had come to the South American country nearly two months early. The 50-year-old President and hand-picked successor of the late Hugo Chavez, gave out Christmas gifts to government employees in the form of bonuses and pensions. He then proceeded to light the Nativity lights at the presidential palace, Palacio de Miraflores.
“Today, on this first day of November, we decided to declare the arrival of Christmas because we want happiness for all people,” Maduro declared.
His detractors took this as another of Maduro’s crazy-like-coco puffs actions. Remember this is the man that on occasion sleeps in the tomb of Chavez to get political inspiration. This is the man that says Chavez appears to him as a bird and tweets him lyrical messages.
His political detractors say he’s crazy like a fox.
The early Christmas declaration comes weeks before the crucial December 8 municipal elections. Maduro may want to assure his political party and legislation receive most of the votes. Or maybe he is hoping no one notices, amongst the Christmas lights, the chronic food and toilet paper shortages and the 45 percent annual rate of inflation.
The early Christmas declaration comes on the heels of the new cabinet position – the Deputy Minister of Supreme Happiness - Maduro created.