Venezuelan Catholics celebrated Easter Sunday by attending church and participating in folk ceremonies, including the Burning of Judas. As in previous years, Maduro and other high-ranking regime officials featured predominantly as effigies in today’s ceremonies.
Over 70% of Venezuelans are Catholic, while nearly 90% identify as Christian. As a result, religious rituals like the Burning of Judas are relatively common throughout the country. Originally, this ritual involved burning or otherwise “killing” an effigy of Judas Iscariot as symbol of cleansing oneself and one’s community of evil for the coming year.
The video below shows the ritual as it played out in Carrizal, Miranda state, earlier this afternoon. The two effigies represent Maduro and Farith Fraija, the local mayor from the ruling PSUV party:
In the La Candelaria neighbourhood of Caracas, residents lit a multi-headed effigy, with photographs of Maduro, Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez, Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez, and Caracas mayor Erika Farias:
The picture below, allegedly taken in Valencia, Carabobo state, shows an effigy of Maduro with a sash that says “usurper”. The effigy is wearing a t-shirt that says “No. 1 Criminal”, and has bills stuffed into his pockets to represent stolen money:
Even a group of doctors took part in the tradition. In the video below, the doctors are getting ready to burn an effigy that represents “20 years of dictatorship”:
Doctor: … of this effigy, which represents twenty years of dictatorship [and] death, and the fact that unfortunately Venezuelans die every day because of the fact that there is no medicine or supplies, [or because] we can’t treat them [in the hospital]. No more to children dying over a lack of food. No more mothers dying in child birth because we couldn’t tend to them in time. We’ve had enough of our patients with diabetes and hypertension having their conditions worsen each day because we can’t find medicine.
The doctors eventually burned the effigy, as evidenced by this picture:
Finally, an effigy of Maduro burned in the El Valle neighbourhood of Caracas:
This year, the tradition appears to have spread beyond Venezuela’s borders. The video below shows the burning of an effigy of Maduro in the style of King Kong in the La Rioja community in Spain:
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