In a televised speech that aired earlier today, Maduro announced that he would spend Bs. 3 billion on agricultural projects, wit the money coming out of the Fondo Chino [Chinese Fund], a fund financed by the Chinese government. The money, which will also be used to help fisheries, would be put to between now and December.
Minister of Agriculture and Land Ivan Gil explained what the money would go toward:
… corn planting in August. [Then], we will begin planting sunflower, and also 20,000 hectares of beans in August, with another 20,000 in September. This way, we expect to reach 60,000 hectares of beans this year.
In addition to the money form the Fondo Chino, Maduro announced the approval of $150,000,000 to be put up for auction through CENCOEX, the country’s currency exchange body. The Bolivares raised through that auction will go towards agricultural machinery.
Maduro made the announcements at an event in Cojedes state in recognition of 12 local communes that have excelled in agricultural production in recent months. He also took the opportunity to take an ideological shot at his opponents, saying:
We’ve started to have our own productive muscle, and it doesn’t depend on a parasitic landlord. It depends on the working people, a people of solidarity, because only the working people can produce for the rest of Venezuela, specially in times of economic war between our homeland and them.
Maduro: Oligarchy Tying Venezuela Down
During the same event, Maduro blamed “the oligarchy” for continuing to damage the Venezuelan economy, and urged supporters to free itself from its chains somehow:
We have to free ourselves (…) The oligarchy is tying the Venezuelan economy’s legs (…) a homeland stands up on its own through work and sacrifice.
Maduro also urged the farmers in the audience to continue to work hard towards and economic model that does away with “the economy of parasites and bachaqueros“.
Guyana Set to Mine for Gold in the Essequibo
The government of Guyana announced today that it would go ahead with two gold mining projects in the Essequibo region starting to September. The projects – named Project Aurora and Project Karouni – were awarded to the Canadian gold mining company Guyana Goldfields. Project Aurora is expected to produce 6 tonnes of gold over the next 17 years, while Project Karouni is expected to produce roughly 2.5 tonnes over the next 7 to 10 years.
Venezuela has a century-long dispute with Guyana over who controls the Essequibo. To this day, Venezuela maintains the it has sole control over the Essequibo territory, an opinion that Guyana – along with much of the rest of the world – disagree with. The Essequibo region spans approximately 160,000 square kilometers.
Maria Corina Machado Shares Worker’s Plight
Through her Twitter account, Maria Corina Machado shared a piece of paper she alleges was given to her by a worker from the Caracas area. On the paper, the worker (who Machado identifies as “Angel”) demonstrates how much money he spends each month on public transportation alone. The sum: Bs. 5232, roughly 70% of the monthly minimum wage.
In the image below, Angel shows that his daily commute takes him from his home to Mopia, St. Teresa, Plaza Venezuela, Miranda Station, and finally Palos Grandes. The total price for a one way trip is Bs. 109, making the daily commute total Bs. 218. Multiplied by the 24 days per month Angel allegedly works, the total amount of money he spends on commuting each month is Bs. 5,232.
The note ends – playfully – with the words, “Ojo! Sin cafe”, which roughly translates to, “And this doesn’t include my daily cup of coffee”.
Machado shared the image on Twitter earlier today, and introduced it by saying, “what they have done to us is criminal”.
In Venezuela, minimum wage is calculated monthly. The current monthly minimum wage is Bs. 7,421.68.
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