Thursday, November 7, 2013

Venezuelan Uno-Upsmanship (it wasn't enough for El Presidente to just merge holidays)

just ask Edward Snowden

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in a blatant but effective abuse of power, declared November  1st as the arrival of “Early Christmas” in Venezuela, “because we want happiness for all people.”

I am a people.  Sometimes I’m a whole crowd (or so I’ve been told).   Having an Early Christmas doesn’t really hold any thrill for me, even if I weren’t Jewish.   It just means I have to listen to countless renditions of Frosty the Snowman and Santa Baby for an additional month.

It has been officially decreed that Early Christmas brings Early Christmas Bonuses (paid by the government?) on December 1st.    

The timing of this is not suspicious – it’s glaringly obvious.  December 8th is election day in Venezuela and Maduro, who took over after the death of Hugo Chavez last March, is the buck-stops-here guy for a country with problems that make the roll-out seem like the most brilliant success ever.

Maduro has even designated a Deputy Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness.  I wonder if there will be a tax credit if you attest you and the members of your household are happy.  I wonder if there will be a fine if you are not happy.  I wonder, in a country where there are food and toilet paper shortages, what the fine might be.

He knows if you’ve been happy or sad, so be happy for … um …

Well, suffice it to say you should just be happy.

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