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VENEZUELAN President Nicolas Maduro announced a 40 per cent increase in public-sector workers’ pay and state retirement pensions on last night in his end-of-the-year address.
The workers, including health professionals, teachers and military members, will receive their pay boost immediately.
He announced that more citizens will benefit from the country’s food voucher programme, adding that current recipients will see an increase in the value of vouchers received. Retirement pensions will also increase by 40 per cent.
The president revealed he will start to roll out conditions this month for a “new Venezuelan monetary system,” based on the country’s petroleum resources, to make “Venezuela the vanguard,” creating economic stability and social peace.
Mr Maduro thanked the national constituent assembly for helping develop the new monetary system, declaring that July’s assembly elections had initiated a “democratic fiesta” across the country.
He emphasised that, despite the “illegal … economic war” incited by US President Donald Trump, the country has advanced further towards the model of 21st-century socialism launched by late president Hugo Chavez.
He cited the municipal and provincial October elections swept by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela as indicators that “popular forces” are “sustaining the nation.”
“We all have the right to quality schooling, healthcare, jobs, cultural events, sports and technology,” he noted, warning that this is “impeded by domestic and international capitalist forces.”
His government is advancing Venezuela’s diplomatic ties and international profile, “consolidating alliances” with Russia, China, India, Turkey and Iran to ensure political and economic stability.
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