Nicolás Maduro
Nicolás Maduro AFP

President Nicolas Maduro announced Wednesday ahead of the presidential elections that all public employees working in Venezuela will receive $130 per month as bonus.

"Today I decide to raise the comprehensive minimum income of workers to $130 at least," the president said in his speech during an event on International Workers' Day, Reuters reported. "We are going to recover the income of workers, the income of the country, step by step."

This move came as workers demanded a salary increase from the government. While the president didn't share many details about the announcement, the ruling party lawmaker Francisco Torrealba explained on social media that these bonuses will be paid in the local currency -- bolivars - with set amounts equivalent in U.S. dollars.

According to Torrealba's X (formerly known as Twitter) post, the public employees will receive a $90 "Bonus Against Economic War" and a $40 food bonus.

The hike in wages hasn't kept up with inflation rates last year. Consumer prices skyrocketed by 67.75% year-on-year up to March, with inflation reaching double and triple digits annually.

The monthly minimum wage in Venezuela is 130 bolivars, which equals around $3.5 at the official exchange rate. This wage hasn't been increased since March 2022. However, the government has provided bonuses to public sector workers and retirees

These bonuses were last raised to $100 in February.

The Maduro-led administration has been working this year to lower the inflation to two digits, with a goal to increase social spending slightly before the upcoming elections.

Various unions, including those representing teachers, university professors and healthcare workers, have asked the government for salary increases to curb the impact of inflation over recent years. According to the teachers' union, the monthly cost of basic food for a family exceeds $500.

Venezuela will witness presidential elections on July 28 to choose a president for a six-year term, which will start on Jan. 10, 2025.

Earlier this year, Maduro warned that his deal with the opposition political party over upcoming elections might come to an end, as he believes it is a conspiracy against him.

Under this deal, the United States decided to ease economically debilitating oil sanctions on the crude-exporting country. This decision was made so that Venezuela's current administration will lift all bans made on the opponents and release political prisoners alongside "unjustly detained" Americans.

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