Venezuela: Maduro Increases Minimum Pay Ahead Of May Day Rival Marches

Venezuela: Maduro Increases Minimum Pay Ahead Of May Day Rival Marches
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has raised wages by 60 per cent and handed out hundreds of free homes amid his efforts to counter a strengthening protest movement seeking his removal.

The announcements came as government supporters and Maduro’s opponents prepared for rival marches to commemorate May Day on Monday.

On his regular television show, Sundays with Maduro, the socialist leader ordered a 60 percent increase in the country’s minimum wage starting on Monday.

“We’re here to take care of the workers, those who are most humble, and not the privileges of the oligarchs,” said Maduro during his weekly television program.

This was the third pay increase Maduro has ordered this year and the 15th since he became president in 2013.

Workers in Venezuela have seen the buying power of their earnings eroded by a weakening currency and the world’s highest inflation.

With the latest wage increase and mandatory food subsidies, the minimum take-home pay for millions of Venezuelans now stands at 200,000 bolivars a month – or less than $50 at the widely used black market rate.

Maduro also hinted that state elections may be held later this year.

“I am anxious for an electoral process to be called,” he told supporters on the live show

 

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