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Christmas is coming early in Venezuela

Nov. 6, 2013 at 7:53 AM
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CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the Christmas season would come early in the country and holiday bonuses would be issued in November.

State workers will receive the first two-thirds of their Christmas bonuses in November instead of December this year in what Maduro said was an effort to lift people's spirits, NPR reported Tuesday.

"We made Christmas earlier because happiness and The Nativity and waiting for the arrival of the baby Jesus, it is the best medicine," Maduro said at a socialist Christmas fair in Caracas.

Political experts, though, said the move may be an effort by the president to get votes for municipal elections in December, NPR reported.

Maduro won by a slim margin in the spring, and Venezuela's economy has been suffering, with 45 percent inflation and a shortage of toys in retail stores for the holiday season.

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