Oddity of the Day: Nativity Scene Starring Hugo Chavez
As far as I can remember from my Catholic school days, the socialist President of Venezuela did not feature prominently in Christ's birth. But he plays a starring role in a controversial nativity from Caracas. In the scene above, Chavez bears witness alongside Mary, Joseph and the Wise Men. It's caused a bit of a stir in the capital - supporters say its an innocent homage to the president, detractors say it's tacky and sacrilegious.
The Chavez nativity is not the only scene attracting attention. In Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a shopping mall creche memorializes scenes of gang violence, police purges and the death of Osama bin Laden. At nearly 1,075 square feet, the scene (built by architect Fernando Martinez) "bears witness to a world in violent turmoil, including ripped-from-the-headlines scandals close to home and earthshaking dramas elsewhere."
According to AFP, toy figures re-enact murderous scenes (a nod to the country's sky-rocketing murder rate) and Honduran political scandals.
In the El Salvadorian capital of San Salvadore, street vendors sell more slightly more traditional Christmas figures. Here's a picture, from Reuters:
If you can't get enough, here is a Huffington Post slideshow of nativities made from bacon, shot guns and s'mores.