Venezuela announces minimum wage increase

As part of Venezuela’s economic recovery plan, President Nicolas Maduro on Friday announced economic measures that include increasing the national minimum wage.


Maduro said the minimum wage will be set at 1,800 sovereign bolivars, a new currency that will begin circulating Aug. 20.

The sovereign bolivar will be based on the country’s Petro cryptocurrency, valued at about $60 or 3,600 sovereign bolivars.

Maduro said the measure will “stabilize and change the monetary and financial life of the country in a radical manner.”

Ahead of the new currency’s debut, currency was devalued by 95 percent, a strategy to loosen the grip of the country’s high inflation rate.

Maduro said the government would help small- and medium-sized industries with costs of the wage differential for 90 days.

The historic devaluation comes as Venezuela sinks into an economic and social crisis. A report by the International Monetary Fund said the economic crisis in Venezuela, one of the founding members of OPEC, is “profound” as a substantial drop in oil production takes its toll.

A report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that Venezuela’s oil industry has been mismanaged for decades. More recently, some of the workers at state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, have been jailed on corruption charges.

 By Susan McFarland