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Cuba Issues Warning on Santa Claus

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<i> From Reuters</i>

Cuba’s Communist government may have restored Christmas as a public holiday, but that does not mean Santa Claus is welcome on the Caribbean island.

An official Cuban newspaper warned readers Monday to beware of the white-bearded Santa figure as a potentially threatening symbol of U.S. “consumerism,” “cultural hegemony” and “mental colonization.”

In an article in the labor union weekly Los Trabajadores, headlined in English “Merry Christmas,” columnist Eduardo Jimenez Garcia chided some state-run shops in Havana for decorating with the symbols of a Northern Christmas.

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Jimenez said Santa Claus, the English greeting “Merry Christmas,” Christmas trees and artificial snow are inappropriate in tropical, socialist Cuba.

Describing Santa Claus as “the leading symbol of the hagiography of U.S. mercantilism,” he said that shops using him for decoration are extending “a humble help to the expansion of this hegemonic culture, with its accompanying ethics and ideology.”

Cuba’s government recently restored Christmas to the national holiday calendar after a suspension of almost 30 years.

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