Venezuela's Maduro Hikes Salary of Military Generals to $17 per Month
Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro this week that he would give his most loyal military generals a raise, making their salaries $17 a month.
The Argentine outlet Infobae reported on Monday that under the new salary structure, a major general or admiral in the Venezuelan armed forces will earn around 8.853 million bolivares ($17) a month, while a brigadier general or rear admiral will earn 8.06 bolivars ($15.50) a month.
A colonel or captain of a ship with between four and 28 years experience will earn 7.83 million bolivares, equivalent to around $15, per month.
In the case of the lieutenant colonel or frigate captain, with between 18 and 23 years, monthly earnings range between $12.60 to $13.70. For a major or lieutenant commander with 14 to 18 years of experience, salaries offered will range between $11 and $12.20 a month. For the average soldier, their salary is now equivalent to just a few dollars a month.
Since late dictator Hugo Chávez took over the country in 1998, the military has been subject to aggressive indoctrination aimed at guaranteeing their loyalty to the country’s socialist revolution. As well as this indoctrination, the regime has long prioritized keeping their salaries at acceptable levels to keep them content, providing them with benefits such as additional toilet paper and hygiene products they struggle to acquire elsewhere.
Throughout years of massive anti-Maduro demonstrations and polls showing a vast majority of Venezuelans reject socialism, the military’s support for the Maduro regime has been critical to its survival. The latest salary raises suggest that Maduro is struggling to continue funding the military and buying its loyalty. Members of the Venezuelan opposition have claimed for years that soldiers have grown weary of supporting Maduro.
Despite the collapse in salaries for even high-ranking military officials, these are comparatively generous compared to other public sector workers such as teachers and healthcare workers. For the past few years, the average state-employed Venezuelan worker has taken home between $1 and $5 a month. Even with the support of various state provisions and subsidies, this has left millions of people in a situation where they are unable to support themselves or their families, leading to a massive rise in violent crime as well as the world’s most severe migration crisis.