How the (Venezuelan) Government Stole Christmas

In the spirit of the holiday season, the Venezuelan government has been cast as the Grinch who literally stole Christmas after they confiscated nearly five million toys last Friday. Venezuela’s consumer protection agency raided the Kreisel-Venezuela toy warehouse because the company was planning to sell the toys at highly inflated prices.

Agency head William Contreras said that executives at toy distributor Kreisel-Venezuela, the largest of its kind in the country, "don't care about our children's right to have a Merry Christmas." He added, "They say we're stealing the toys from this company, but the company committed fraud against our country."

Government officials say the toys were bought as many as eight years ago and were being held to sell them at a huge profit margin, as much as 25,000 percent. Critics of the operation have called the consumer protection agency “the Grinch who stole Christmas.” One Venezuelan woman tweeted, "Now what? Is (President) Nicolás Maduro the modern Grinch?"

Venezuela is currently experiencing a major economic crisis, with inflation as high as 500 percent this year, and predicted by the International Monetary Fund to skyrocket to as much as 1660 percent by 2017.

Just like How the Grinch Stole Christmas though, it seems this story has a happy ending. Despite their initial wrongdoings, the Venezuelan government’s heart grew three sizes this weekend when they announced that the 4.8 million seized toys will be sold at below market prices to impoverished families.