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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 October 2005, 20:31 GMT
Chavez calls for ban on Halloween
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. File photo
Mr Chavez said the US had a culture of spreading fear
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has urged families not to mark Halloween, calling it a US custom alien to the South American nation.

"Families go and begin to disguise their children as witches. This is contrary to our way," Mr Chavez said during his weekly radio and TV show.

He also said Halloween was a "game of terror", the AP news agency reported.

Mr Chavez is known as a fierce critic of the US government and President George W Bush personally.

Halloween masks.
Halloween is marked by children dressing up in scarey costumes
The president recently described the Bush administration as a terrorist government.

Mr Chavez said Halloween was part of the US culture of "putting fear into other nations, putting fear into their own people".

He did not refer to incidents earlier this month when lanterns made from hollowed pumpkins carrying anti-government messages appeared in several places in the capital, Caracas.

Halloween, a pagan festival characterised by mischiefmaking, is marked every year on 31 October.


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