Maduro raises Venezuelan wages 50 pct as inflation soars

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — President Nicolas Maduro is raising Venezuela's minimum wage by 50 percent.

But that's not very much relief in a nation where inflation is forecast by the International Monetary Fund to reach four digits this year and food shortages are widespread.

Maduro announced Sunday on his weekly TV program that the nation's monthly minimum wage and mandatory food subsidy would be 104,358 bolivars.

That's just around $30 on the widely used black market rate, where the battered currency plunged in 2016 in the face of four wage wage increases.

The raise comes as Maduro tries to persuade the opposition to abandon calls for his removal and continue participating in Vatican-sponsored negotiations designed to ease the nation's economic and political crisis.

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