It seems that every week, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has a new surreal statement up his sleeve. From assurances that Hugo Chavez's face miraculously appeared in a subway tunnel, to an announcement that he will create a Ministry of Happiness.
His solutions to Venezuela's very serious economic problems also look more desperate by the day. They are also threatening the personal freedoms of the Venezuelan people.
Check out this list of Maduro's most recent moves.
1.Too Much Profit Is Illegal
On Monday, Maduro came up with an interesting idea to curb his country's rampant 54 percent inflation rate. He proposed a law that limits how much profit businesses can make from their goods. If businesses don't comply their managers would be put in jail.
2. Government Can Decide How Retail Chains Behave
This anti-inflation proposal came about after Maduro ordered local retail chain Daka to lower the prices of its goods last week, claiming that Daka was speculating on prices and profiting from exchange controls put in place by the Venezuelan government.
Huge lines of Venezuelans wanting to get cheap electronics formed outside Daka stores over the weekend. At one store in the city of Valencia, people began to loot with the Venezuelan government looking on. Some police allegedly even joined the fray. Check out this video in which some honest citizens try to stop looters from going about their business.
3. Win Elections at all Costs
Maduro's opponents argue that the government is getting tough on price controls because municipal elections are coming up on December 8th. High crime rates and rampant inflation are not likely to help government backed candidates in the polls so Maduro is trying to regain popularity for the "revolution" by blaming the current crisis on the private sector.
4. Don't Forget the Chavez Cult
Maduro has tried to boost his connections to the deceased — but still very popular — Hugo Chavez with a series of dramatic gestures. Just a few days ago Maduro said on national TV, that Hugo Chavez's face appeared miraculously in a subway tunnel.
Nothing new there. During the presidential elections in April Maduro also said that Chavez appeared to him in the form of a bird, and blessed his bid to head Venezuela.
During the first week of November Maduro continued to promote the cult of Chavez by making up a new holiday. From now on Venezuela will celebrate the
6. Talking Trash in the Neighborhood
Maduro has also left his mark in the international arena. Venezuela recently destroyed a jet with Mexican license plates that had landed in that country. When the Mexican government asked for more information on the incident, Maduro dissed Mexico's leadership on national TV. "Why are they advocating for a plane that was full of cocaine?" the Venezuelan president mused.
Maduro refused to provide any evidence of cocaine on the plane despite multiple requests by Mexico to clear things up.
7. Becoming King?
Maduro has asked his country's Congress to approve a law that will allow him to rule by decree for up to a year.
Maduro says that he needs more power to fight against corrupt politicians and against the oligarchs who are "waging an economic war" on Venezuela. But if he gains more power, and begins to rule like a king, who will protect Venezuela from his decisions?
Manuel Rueda is a correspondent for Fusion, covering Mexico and South America. He travels from donkey festivals, to salsa clubs to steamy places with cartel activity.