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Venezuela’s Maduro hikes wages amid protests

By on July 3, 2017

Medics carry a demonstrator that was injured during protests, to safety, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, July 1, 2017.  (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is hiking salaries as he tries to overcome major protests and rally support for his plans to rewrite the constitution.

Maduro said on his Sunday television show that the minimum wage will rise 50 percent starting this month. Workers will earn at least 250,000 bolivars per month including food subsidies, or less than $35 at the black market exchange rate.

It’s the third wage increase this year as triple-digit inflation erodes workers’ savings.

At least 80 people have died during the past three months of protests seeking Maduro’s removal. The demonstrations gained intensity after Maduro called for a special election to choose delegates to rewrite the constitution in a poll that opponents say heavily favors the unpopular socialist leader.

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