An aerial view of Caracas, Venezuela
Caracas, the Venezuelan capital Méndez

Venezuelans needed to earn 166 minimum wages in April to cover the basic food needs of a five-person family, according to a new study published this week.

The report, by the Venezuelan Teacher Federations' Center for Documentation and Social Analysis, estimated the basic food basket to cost $552.29 last month, or $18.40 per day. This compares with the country's current minimum wage, which stands at 130 bolivars, about $3.56 a month.

The figure also marks an increase of 11 minimum wages compared to March, with cereals and related products seeing the largest increase in all categories. Coffee, fruits and vegetables and oil were also among the products that topped the list.

Venezuela, which is virtually dollarized, has seen 6.3% inflation in the first four months of the year, the monthly figure for April being 2%. The government expects this year's rate to be the lowest in a decade.

However, recent studies show that over half of the Venezuelan population lives under the poverty line, with one by the Andres Bello Catholic University showing it to clock in at 51.9% in 2023.

That is added to the 7.7 million people who have left the country over the past decade, seeking to escape its social, political and economic state of decay. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), that represents close to 20% of the population.

Venezuelans are still leaving their country, with figures increasing during the first months of the year.

According to Mexican authorities, encounters of Venezuelan migrants increased more than 300% between January and March. The total figure is close to 90,000 people, compared to a little over 21,000 in 2023. They already represent the largest nationality of all irregular interceptions by authorities in the North American country and a quarter of the total.

In fact, four in ten Venezuelans who still live in the country would consider leaving if Nicolas Maduro were to be reelected in July's presidential elections, according to a recent poll by firm Meganalisis.

Moreover, 45% of respondents claimed they did not know what they would decide while should Maduro win and only 16% expressed their desire to stay in the country if such an outcome were to take place.

The survey, based on interviews with 1,000 people across the country, also showed that a vast majority (74%) consider María Corina Machado to be the most reliable and credible political leader in the country.

Banned from competing by the government-friendly Supreme Court, she and the rest of the opposition have thrown their weight behind Edmundo González Urrutia, a little-known diplomat who was allowed to sign up as a candidate. He currently holds a large lead over Maduro according to most polls, with some showing a 40-point lead.

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