Hugo Chávez is OK with Christmas -- in 2011, he used the holiday as an opportunity to spam the entire country's cell phones with a special Christmas text. He's just not OK with yanqui imperialist Christmas. In 2006, the Venezuelan president reportedly banned Christmas trees and images of Santa Claus from government offices because he deemed them too American. Instead, Chávez said, his country ought to celebrate the holiday with symbols inspired by Venezuelan tradition, such as mangers or ornaments decorated with the tropical Flor de la Navidad (poinsettia).
Other holidays have felt his wrath as well. In 2005, according to the BBC, Chávez urged Venezuelans not to celebrate Halloween, calling the U.S. custom a "game of terror." A tradition in which "families go and begin to disguise their children as witches" is "contrary to our way," he said.
This year, Christmas in Venezuela will be affected yet again -- though more due to incompetence than deliberate policy. The Economist reports that the government takeover of Venezuelan ports has created huge holdups in processing imports. Due to a combination of poor maintenance, inexperienced management, and bureaucratic obstruction, a number of "seasonal products" including trees, toys, and popular Christmas foods are piled up in the country's ports. Some products might not arrive in time for Christmas, the magazine warns.LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images