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Forget Python's ‘Silly Walks’ – Venezuela has a Happiness Ministry

Published time: October 26, 2013 15:11
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (Reuters/Jorge Silva)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (Reuters/Jorge Silva)

It may sound like a Monty Python comedy sketch, but the Venezuelan government is quite serious. In creating a “Deputy Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness,” it aims to boost programs for alleviating poverty, disability and social inequality.

The new mission was devised “with the purpose of ensuring supreme social happiness,” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said in a national address from the Miraflores Palace on Friday as he announced the ministry’s creation and the appointment of the minister to lead it.

“The supreme happiness office will look after our disabled brothers and sisters, those who are homeless, our old folks, our children, addressing the most sublime, the most sensitive, the most loved for all those who consider themselves Bolivarian revolutionaries,” he said.

Almost exactly a year ago, funds were allocated for the happiness ministry; some 38 percent of the budget was put aside for the purpose by the late president, Hugo Chavez, to develop “supreme happiness” programs.

Maduro stated Thursday that under the auspices of the new ministry, 33 social programs devised under Chavez would be coordinated.  

The first Deputy Minister for the Social Happiness of the Supreme People’s Happiness is Rafael Rios, a former lawmaker and doctor. “Comrade Rafael Rios will be responsible for implementing and coordinating the famous missions created by our Perpetual Commandant,” Maduro said in his announcement Thursday, referring to Chavez in a North Korean-style life-after-death title.

In the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s World Happiness Report for 2013, Venezuela was ranked the happiest country in Latin America, and 20th happiest in the world, placing ahead of the UK, France and Germany.

However, the country also has inflation approaching 50 percent, and experiences shortages of a variety of basic household goods. Maduro has blamed speculation and hoarding for the country’s economic problems.

The creation of the ministry prompted a wealth of amused and slightly disbelieving reactions.

“It's been 24 hours since the creation of the ‘Deputy Ministry of Supreme Happiness’ and I'm already happy :)” Venezuelan radio host, Luis Chataing, declared on Twitter.

Victor King, a banana seller in downtown Caracas, said that he would welcome the day that Maduro creates the currently-fictional Deputy Ministry of Beer “so he can make me and all drunks happy,” the AP reported.

Comments (17)

 

Alex Verne 18.02.2014 03:36

Mr. Henrique Capriles is a homosexual JEW by the real name Radonsky who is trying to masquerade as a Christian. Why would a JEW be President of a 99% Christian nation?
It an interesting parallel with Ukraine, where a JEW Mrs. Nuland (aka Nudelman, born in Russia, now a US “diplomat”) with another JEW, Mr. Pyatt (US ambassador in Ukraine), conspire to force another JEW, Mr. Arseny Yatsenyuk as the Prime Minister of Ukraine against the democratic elected Government.

 

Carmen Neyra 29.10.2013 03:13

Bravo to President Maduro! A Ministry for the Happiness! feels good intentions and all governments should follow the example. Happiness becomes solid when everyone participates for their own welfare and the welfare of all.
Beautiful dream which had Chavez!

 

Mark 28.10.2013 07:19

The PR and packaging opens them up to ridicule, but the concept is basically sound -- If you define happiness as the absence of unhappiness, then it becomes clear that eliminating the major sources of unhappiness is the right thing to do. These include disease, poverty, and so forth.

Vene zuela's financial difficulties have been engineered for it by the US. It seems that impoverishing a people and then ridiculing their poverty still plays well.

View all comments (17)
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