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Venezuelan President Raises Minimum Wage

People queue to buy basic food items outside a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela, April 28, 2016. President Nicolas Maduro ordered on May 1, 2016, a 30 percent increase in the country's minimum wage.

Venezuela's president has ordered a 30 percent increase in the country's minimum wage.

Nicolas Maduro's announcement comes as the South American country is experiencing rampant inflation and economic stagnation.

The change officially pushes the minimum wage up to just over $1,500 a month, based on the official exchange rate. However, the actual monthly wage is only a tiny fraction of that based on the current black market rate, which largely sets prices of goods for Venezuelans.

The pay raises will affect public workers, pensioners and members of the military.

"This man's 'increases' are a joke. Inflation is rocketing," says opposition leader Henrique Capriles, adding that inflation was at 20 percent in March.

The hike in the minimum wage is effective Sunday, which is May Day.It is also celebrated as International Workers' Day.

Some material for the story came from AP, AFP and Reuters.