Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro delivered his annual Christmas message on Sunday, with wife Cilia Flores declaring a “climate of union, happiness, and peace” despite widespread hunger, disease, and general societal collapse.
“I can say that a climate of union, happiness, and peace is breathed throughout the country,” the “First Combatant” Flores said, wishing that “Venezuelan traditions fill every home, town, and city that we recognize ourselves as a great family.”
Despite leading the type of socialist regime typically adverse to religion and its accompanying ceremonies, Maduro also celebrated the “time of the year when the hope of humanity is renewed, thanks to the message of love that symbolizes the birth of the Child God,” according to state media.
“Because the light will always overcome the darkness, the joy, and the sadness,” he said in a televised address from Miraflores Palace.
Maduro and his entourage also sang a song to commemorate the Day of Loyalty and Love to the late Hugo Chávez, whose far-left “Bolivarian Revolution” paved the way for the collapse of the country’s economy and the consequent totalitarian dictatorship under Maduro.
Christmas festivities in Venezuela began at the beginning of November, meaning celebrations last around 60 days, equivalent to one-sixth of the year.
In a similar broadcast, he declared that the country would enjoy the month with “bagpipes, dances, and spending time with the family,” before welcoming in 2020 with hope and desire to work and advance the homeland.”
He also announced a variety of Christmas bonuses for public workers, although most of them will amount to just a couple of dollars due to the worthlessness of the country’s bolivar currency.
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) December 9, 2019
Prolonging and aggressively promoting the Christmas season has become customary in recent years, with the regime establishing a history of bizarre and often illegal activities aimed at distracting citizens from the country’s shocking state of affairs.
Some of its methods include releasing anti-capitalist Christmas carols urging businesses to lower the prices of goods, manufacturing a “socialist Barbie” sold at a tenth of its retail value, and threatening to detain shop or business owners who refuse to lower their prices for the holiday season.
These threats to private enterprise came to a head in 2016 when authorities seized nearly four million toys from various stores, while also detaining two company executives on charges of promoting price speculation.