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Tele Sur English:The salary increase will include public workers, teachers, doctors, firefighters, police officers and military personnel, among others.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Sunday, just before the new year, a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage — as a protection for Venezuelans against ongoing aggression.

Effective January 1, the salary increase brings the Venezuelan minimum wage up from 177,608 bolivars to 248,510 bolivars.

The president also decreed an increase in the pension system, from 177,507 to 248,510 bolivares, while the war bonus has also been increased from 53,252 to 99,340 bolivares.

Maduro, in his address, also pressed that the Government’s goal for the first four months of 2018 is to reach 100 percent of care for the elderly, through the Carnet de la Patria system.

“We have to reach 100 percent of pensioners … with the Carnet de la Patria in hand, that is our goal and we will achieve it,” he said.

In his message, the president also offered an assessment of the achievements made by the government in the last year, including the successive wins for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, PSUV, party.

Finally, he reported that the government is strongly promoting a new cryptocurrency, the Petro, which is backed by the country’s natural and mineral wealth, saying the move is a solution that will prevent Venezuela from being the target of financial attacks, such as blockades and sanctions.