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Maduro Raises Minimum Wage to USD $11 Per Month as Hyperinflation Rages On in Venezuela

By: Orlando Avendaño - @OrlvndoA - Nov 2, 2017, 1:25 pm
(Prensa presidencial)
The minimum wage in Venezuela passed to 456.507 bolívares, which is equivalent to USD $11. (Prensa presidencial)

EspañolThe leader of Venezuela’s socialist regime, Nicolás Maduro, announced on Wednesday, November 1, yet another minimum wage increase and unveiled a new highest denomination bill of 100,000 bolívares that amounts to little over US$2 at the black market exchange rate.

The new monthly salary floor increases the previous one by 30 percent to 177,507 bolívares. This is the fourth time that the regime has increased the minimum wage in 2017 amid rampant inflation.

Food stamps that workers receive along their salary also went up from 189,000 bolívares to 279,000. In total, the combined minimum income in Venezuela stands at 456,507 bolívares — or US$11 at the unofficial rate.

The same runaway inflation that is forcing the Maduro regime to increase the minimum wage is also behind the new high-denomination bill, as higher prices drive up the demand for increasingly scarce paper currency.

“We have been updating our currency, I believe the solution is to move towards electronic transactions and get to the point where 90%-95% of transactions are done this way in 2018”, said the dictator. referring to the currency shortage crisis in Venezuela.

To get a sense of the devaluation of Venezuela’s currency over the years, the new bill is 100,000 times weaker than the highest denomination one introduced by Hugo Chávez as the “strong Bolivar” back in 2008. It is physically similar to the current 20,000 bill, but it does not have the 100,000 number printed on it, rather it says “100 hundred thousand bolívares”.

 

The new bill begins circulating on November 2.

Correction: An earlier version of this article wrongly stated in its headline that the announced minimum wage increase in Venezuela amounted to USD $11 per day.

Orlando Avendaño Orlando Avendaño

Orlando Avendaño is a PanAm Post intern who resides in Caracas, Venezuela, where he studies social communication at Andrés Bello Catholic University. Follow @OrlvndoA.