Maduro Hands Out Free Homes, Hikes Minimum Wages To Counter Angry Protest Wave

Monday, May 1, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
May 1, 2017

Days after Venezuela was rocked by the worst riots in over a year, with nearly 30 people dying in April from violence related to protests demanding the departure of Maduro who has again been accused of violating democratic norms, Maduro responded by hiking salaries and handing out free homes as he tries to counter a strengthening protest movement calling for his removal.

According to AP, Maduro said on his Sunday TV show that the minimum wage will rise 60% starting May 1. Workers will earn at least 200,000 bolivars per month including food subsidies. Sadly, in light of Venezuela’s hyperinflation, that amount to less than $50 at the black market exchange rate.

It’s the third wage increase this year as triple-digit inflation erodes workers’ savings. AP also notes that Maduro watched as authorities in several states handed over the keys to hundreds of new apartments.

Separately, Bloomberg reported that Venezuelans were gearing for demonstrations to mark International Workers’ Day, even as last month’s clashes prompting Pope Francis to renew his call for a negotiated solution to the crisis embroiling the South American country. The opposition will rally from 26 points across Caracas on a hot, rainy day in a march being promoted on social media with the hashtag “the people rebel against the coup.”

Subway stations across Caracas were closed, as the government traditionally tries to prevent protesters from reaching the government center in the downtown area. President Nicolas Maduro will speak at a pro-government march there, and he has promised major announcements this afternoon.

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