Maduro increased the minimum wage by 103%, but it still takes almost four months of work to buy a bag of soap powder
In almost seven months of the year, the Venezuelan government has increased its basic salary four times. However, despite the "millionaire" amount that most of the Bolivarian population receives, the citizens can only afford two kilos of cheese with the monthly payment.
Leer en español: ¿Para qué alcanza el nuevo salario mínimo en Venezuela?
On Wednesday, June 20, the integral minimum wage of the nation administered by Nicolás Maduro increased to a total of 5 million 196 thousand bolivars. This increase represents a 103%, but is equivalent to $ 65 dollars with the official exchange rate or $ 1.79 on the black market, since at the time of writing this article is paid 2,902,142 bolivares per dollar, according to the portal Dollar today.
According to Gabriela Caldera, digital journalist of NTN24, in Venezuela this amount of money is enough to buy a carton of eggs and a liter of milk. In other Latin American countries, the sum is equally derisory and serves to pay for a public transport ticket, two coffees or a soda.
Caldera also confirms that in the nation with the largest oil reserves in the world a kilo of meat costs 3 and a half million bolivars, a kilo of cheese 2 million 500 bls, and an egg or a kilo of sugar 1,500 bls. A can of tuna is 300 thousand bolivars, more expensive than the basic salary. To buy a bag of soap powder that costs 17 million bolivars, workers would have to save the salary of almost four months.
According to figures provided by the Documentation and Social Analysis Center of the Venezuelan Federation of Teachers (Cendas-FVM), the basic products costs around 220 million bolivars per month, which means that a family needs 44 minimum wages to be able to cover their most basic needs.
For Nicolás Maduro, this fourth increase in the minimum wage represents economic protection for citizens in the face of the crisis in the country. However, for most of the inhabitants and opponents of the nation, the rise is a mockery and synonymous with "hunger."
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Lack of companies contributes to the crisis
According to recent statements by Carlos Larrazabal, president of Fedecámaras, granted to the news agency EFE, in the last two decades Venezuela has lost 60% of the companies that operated in the nation. Twenty years ago the number of companies reached 500,000 and today the figure has fallen to only 280,000 and could lose at least a thousand more at the end of this year.
Larrazabal also points out that in the last five years the Venezuelan economy has fallen in an accumulated and sustained manner by 57%. This situation is highly worrying since, as he indicates, "there are no government indicators that are aimed at solving the cause of the problem".
The economy in Venezuela is bled and the government defends itself by saying that everything is part of an "economic war" against it, fostered by the opposition, businessmen, and the United States, and which aims to strip the so-called Bolivarian revolution from power that governs the country since 1999. Meanwhile, citizens are forced to eat only once a day or leave their nation in search of a more dignified life.
Latin American Post | Krishna Jaramillo
Translated from “¿Para qué alcanza el nuevo salario mínimo en Venezuela?”