Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro announced the beginning of the nation’s Christmas season on October 15, two weeks earlier than his declaration of 60 days of Christmas in 2019.
Speaking at a virtual meeting of the leftist São Paolo Forum on Thursday, Maduro declared that Christmas “will be expedited” this year to begin in October.
“We are planning to strongly boost, in these last ten weeks of the year, national trade for the holiday season under this new normal, protecting ourselves together from COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus], betting on the real economy, counteracting speculation and the theft of our people and providing a happy Christmas season for all,” he declared.
According to Maduro, the beginning of the Christmas season will also coincide with the gradual lifting of lockdown measures imposed in response to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
Under a “strict new biosecurity protocol,” the country will enter a bizarre system of spending one week with relaxed restrictions followed by a week of quarantine. Among the relaxations will be allowing local authorities to authorize Christmas fairs as long as they are held outside with limited capacity.
“We are studying a special plan between November and December for the economy, commerce, and the family, as well as the authorization a monitored general relaxation in which other economic sectors that have not been considered so far can be included,” he continued.
State propaganda outlet Television of Venezuela (VTV) also announced the beginning of the Christmas “season of happiness, under the hashtag slogan, “We Promote Food Sovereignty.” The slogan appears to be a tacit admission of the country’s chronic lack of food that has led to millions of people being left malnourished under the so-called “Maduro diet.”
— VTV CANAL 8 (@VTVcanal8) October 15, 2020
Despite the majority of Venezuelans feeling very little holiday cheer over the past decade, the socialist regime has long weaponized the Christmas season to distract from the country’s dire state and prove his supposed Christian beliefs.
As well as repeatedly commencing “celebrations” some two months before the festival itself, Maduro has implemented various initiatives aimed at bolstering the Christmas season. These have included the seizure of thousands of toys from private businesses, the provision of meager “Baby Jesus” bonuses for public sector workers, and the release of socialist-themed Christmas carols featuring Maduro himself.