A seller receives debit card to pay for a tray of eggs, at a market in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
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Many Venezuelan shops closed as a precaution as confusion reigned Saturday following measures announced by President Nicolas Maduro aimed at fighting an historic economic crisis in the nation. The government will enact a massive currency devaluation and an increase in taxes, and will raise gasoline prices. The minimum wage will be set at 1,800 sovereign bolivars, Maduro said at the presidential palace, flanked by his economic team.In 1983, President Luis Herrera Campins devalued the bolivar for the first time in 22 years after oil prices crashed on a day known locally as "Black Friday".When in 1989 Venezuela raised gasoline costs, lifted foreign-exchange controls and let the currency plunge, prices soared 21 percent in one month, leading to the "Caracazo" riots that killed hundreds and paved the way for the leftist President Hugo Chavez's rise to power.Chavez and Maduro have devalued the bolivar many times in their combined two decades in power.Maduro allowed the bolivar to devalue 80 percent in currency auctions in February.Venezuela would save $10 billion through the new fuel price system, Maduro said.
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