Chavez hikes army pay

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered a hefty pay rise for the armed forces in an apparent bid to shore up support for himself.

    Chavez is counting on the military for support

    A former paratrooper, Chavez announced the hike at a time when his political opponents are campaigning for a referendum to vote him out of office.

    "I have decided that from 1 January, 2004 onward, the salary of all professional members of the armed forces will be increased by 30%," the Venezuelan president said in a broadcast on state television on Sunday.

    The pay hike decision assumes significance, particularly since Chavez survived a brief coup last year.

    Loyal Troops

    Some rebel generals and admirals had briefly toppled Chavez in April, 2002, before loyal troops reinstated him as the president.

    The left-wing Chavez describes the military as a strategic pillar of Venezuela's "revolution."

    "United, the soldiers and the people are invincible," he said.

    Chavez also called on the military to be vigilant against attempted "subversion" by his political opponents.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.