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Venezuelan President Maduro Declares Early Christmas, Moves Worldwide Holiday to November

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By Reissa Su | November 6, 2013 7:35 PM EST

Venezuelan Pres. Nicolas Maduro has decided to change the Christmas celebration from December to November. He will be declaring the early arrival of Christmas in Venezuela almost two months ahead of the actual holiday.

Pres. Maduro said all workers will get the first two-thirds of their pensions and bonuses on Nov. 10. His critics said this was only a calculated move to get more people to vote for him in the upcoming municipal elections Dec. 8.

During the past weekend, Maduro officially lit the nativity lights at the Presidential Palace of Miraflores. He said the remaining months of 2013 is a preview of things to come in 2014. According to him, he wanted Venezuelans to celebrate Christmas early for whole family to experience "early happiness."

The surprising declaration of an early Christmas came after news of the creation of a new Deputy Minister of Supreme Happiness post was met with criticism and jeers. Reports said the president was trying to appease the people for their growing discontent of the nation's ongoing economic crisis, rising crime rate and food shortages. The president reportedly wants to show his generosity with an early Christmas celebration.

Venezuela is facing a struggling economy with an annual inflation rate of more than 45 percent as the government is slowly running out of foreign currency. The country continues to experience worsening power outages since 2010.

Maduro is six months into his first term as president.  He has blamed the supporters of the extreme right for the food shortages and blackouts but he had no proof to support his claims. According to reports, his controversial declaration of an early Christmas is only one of the many oddities he has shown since he became president of Venezuela.

He has accused Twitter of working with his political enemies to launch a "massive attack" on his account, including other government officials. He added recently the face of his predecessor Hugo Chavez appeared briefly to workers who were building a subway line.

Maduro rose to international media popularity when he said he saw the spirit of former president Chavez in the form of a bird. 

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