Caracas, May 1, 2023 (OrinocoTribune.com)—During his speech to greet workers gathering in Caracas for the May Day march, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro denounced the White House’s decision to transfer CITGO’s ownership to far-right opposition elements of the Unitary Platform. The Venezuelan president also announced the increase of the food bonus to $40 and the economic warfare bonus to $20, leaving the monthly bonuses at $60 per month, paid in bolívars disregarding exchange rate fluctuations (indexation). This was part of a series of nine measures for the workers announced by President Maduro.
On Monday, May 1, President Maduro specified that the indexation of both bonuses will prevent their depreciation due to the fluctuation of the bolívar in the face of the dollar in the exchange rate market and the attacks against the national currency aimed at bringing down workers’ income.
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“It is an income resistance plan that should lead us, sooner rather than later, to the recovery of wages,” he explained. “Now we have to resist, and we are going to apply the indexation to the food bonus [cestaticket] and the warfare bonus in addition to the wage workers receive.”
The economic warfare bonus is a provision paid monthly to public workers and pensioners via the Patria system, beginning in January 2023, within the context of the illegal sanctions against Venezuela that have severely limited workers’ income and, therefore, public employees’ salaries. The bonus is paid in bolívars. In January, February and March, the equivalent of $30 was paid and, in April, $44, as reported by Alba Ciudad.
The food bonus, cestaticket, was increased to $40 on May 1 after being frozen last year at 45 bolívars, currently equivalent to $1.80.
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President Maduro did not announce an increase in the monthly minimum wage expected by millions of workers in the country, remaining at Bs. 130, or approximately $5.2 per month. Changes to pensioners’ payments were also not reported, who have received a warfare bonus of $20 a month in bolívars since January.
Corruption and imperialist aggression
Maduro questioned the illegal US and European sanctions and their dramatic effects on Venezuelans’ quality of life, along with the recent move to rob the Venezuelan people of CITGO ownership and hand it to a group of far-right political parties. He also condemned corruption that has affected the Venezuelan government’s finances.
Last week, the Venezuelan parliament approved the Asset Forfeiture Law. It was then signed into law by President Maduro on Friday and published in the Official Gazette on Monday, making it part of Venezuela’s legal toolbox against corruption, terrorism and narco-trafficking. The goal of the law is to allow the state to access seized assets resulting from these crimes in order to use them in social programs to benefit the majority of Venezuelans.
Orinoco Tribune Special by staff
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