By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES – With inflation continuing to skyrocket in Venezuela, President Maduro announced today a raise in the minimum wage from a little over US $2 a month to around $6, a 300% increase.
He also stated that now that he has begun his new 6-year term in office he plans to achieve an economic recovery from the downturn in recent years, which he blames on the United States and its allies waging an economic war on his government.
When Maduro brought in a new currency, the Sovereign Bolivar, back in August 2018, it was valued at around 60 to the US Dollar. Today the figure is over 2,900 to one US dollar, nearly 50 times the rate less than five months ago.
The new minimum wage is 18,000 Bolivars.
Venezuela had an inflation of 1.7 million per cent last year, according to the daily El Nacional. There were five raises in the minimum wage last year as citizens saw their buying power plummet amid shortages of basic consumer products.
Maduro said he would personally oversee the recovery of the country’s oil industry with the aim of producing 5 million barrels daily, up from an estimated 1.2 million barrels today, barely 60% of what it was two years ago (2.2 million).
He slammed the conservative presidents of Brazil and Colombia, Jair Bolsonaro and Ivan Duque, calling the former “Hitler” and the latter an “incarnation of evil.” Both have been highly critical of Maduro’s policies that has led to an exodus of an estimated three million citizens, at least a third of which are in Colombia.
Maduro denies any crisis in his country and has rejected numerous offers for humanitarian assistance of food and medicines.
Brazil and Colombia were two of the 18 countries that voted on Thursday in the Organization of American States not to recognize Maduro’s new term as president, due to the alleged electoral manipulation in disqualifying the main opposition candidates and coalition from taking part in the vote last May.