Yesterday, President Nicolas Maduro announced a 30% increase in the minimum wage and pensions. For the first time, the Bolivarian government’s May Day increase is less than annual inflation, which was at 57.3% in February, with March experiencing 4.1% inflation.
Last night President Nicolas Maduro presided over an Economic Conference for Peace with over 650 business people and leaders from private and public sectors. He announced a range of economic measures as part of his new “economic offensive”.
After meeting with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro outlined a “new offensive” for the Venezuelan economy, supported by three key objectives; to increase production, to eradicate scarcity and control speculation by enforcing fair prices.
Venezuela's central bank has reported a slowdown in inflation, while vice-president of the economy Rafael Ramirez has claimed the country's latest currency exchange system has already decreased the value of the dollar on the black market – before it's even operational.
A third currency exchange system has been introduced in Venezuela in efforts to stabilise the value of the bolivar, called Sicad II, which will facilitate daily currency auctions at prices determined by “supply and demand”, according to Vice President for the Economic Area Rafael Ramirez.
Venezuelan automotive workers have slammed multinational car manufacturers for cutting back production in the country, while the country's largest trade union federation has called for the nationalisation of the industry.
International and local private media have accused the Venezuelan government of infringing “freedom of expression and information” by restricting newspapers’ access to official exchange rate dollars, and therefore their ability to import paper. The government however says the dollars have been supplied, and blames speculating paper import companies.