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“I sell candies to survive”: retirees cry out for better conditions in Venezuela

“I sell candies to survive”: retirees cry out for better conditions in Venezuela

“I sell candies to survive”: retirees cry out for better conditions in Venezuela

The voice of Ali Enrique Moreno, a 67-year-old Venezuelan retiree who worked for 40 years in public administration, breaks when he describes the situation that has forced him to sell candy on the street to pay for his medicine.

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“I sell candies on the street to survive,” he says, showing a bag with two packages of candies that he just bought and that he exhibits during a demonstration organized by retirees on Tuesday, regarding the visit of delegates from the International Labor Organization ( ILO).

They demand better conditions for the more than five million pensioners who receive about 28 dollars a month after the increase decreed by the president Nicholas Maduro in March… until then they charged the equivalent of two dollars.

“I take five pills a day, tell me, how do I buy them? I am going to be 70 years old going through hunger and need,” Ali told AFP during the protest outside the Ministry of Labor in downtown Caracas.

The demonstrators shouted slogans and held banners with their demands: “We want to continue living”, “No more death pensions”, “The ICC Prosecutor is starving us”, “The pensioners do not want to die before their time”.

Moved to tears, Arnoldo Benitez, 75, who retired 15 years ago after working as a public employee for three decades, expressed his annoyance with a banner hanging on his chest with the phrase: “I want to die of old age, not of hunger.” ”.

He maintains that if it were not for the remittances that his children send him, two of them in Colombia and one in Chile, he would “die of hunger.”

“I live from what my children send me,” he said tearfully.

Arnoldo and the retirees who joined the protest demand that what is expressed in article 91 of the Constitution of Venezuelawhich states that all workers have the right to a salary “that allows them to live with dignity”.

However, the $28 pension is far from the more than $470 needed to buy the basic food basket, according to calculations by the private Documentation and Analysis Center of the Venezuelan Federation of Teachers (Cendas).

“So I have to collect 15 pensions to eat for a month,” Arnoldo underlines, showing a case where he keeps the multiple pills he must take to cope with his old age ailments.

Source: Elcomercio

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