Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Thursday a series of economic initiatives as part of the Salary and Social Protection Plan for Venezuelans, including wage and pension increases.
The salaries of Venezuelan workers are now tied to the value of the cryptocurrency, Petro, which began circulation Aug. 20 as one of the first measures in Venezuela’s Economic Recovery Plan. The sovereign bolivar, which replaced the bolivar, is anchored to the Petro.
The cryptocurrency’s value has increased, President Maduro said, making the new minimum wage 4,500 sovereign bolivares (half a Petro) starting December 1. In August, one Petro was equivalent to 3,600 sovereign bolivares, now its value has more than doubled, reaching 9,000 sovereign bolivares.
The conversion to a new currency served "to stabilize and change the monetary and financial life of the country in a radical manner," Maduro said in August.
Pensioners will also benefit from the increase in the minimum wage, which has gone from 1,800 to 4,500 bolivares. President Maduro also announced they will receive a Christmas bonus worth one minimum wage.
All Venezuelans who have the Carnet de la Patria (Homeland Card) will receive a Christmas bonus of 2,000 sovereign bolivares.
These economic measures are part of an initiative to fight back against the economic and financial sanctions targeting Venezuela promoted by the United States and endorsed by the European Union as well as regional right-wing allies.
Maduro said in August that the sanctions have "kidnapped USD$1.4 billion" from the Venezuelan economy.