Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro kicked off his new term with a state-of-the-nation speech yesterday but offered little in the way of fresh proposals to help the increasingly isolated country escape hyperinflationary collapse or a further downward spiral in 2019.

He began a second term last week under an avalanche of criticism that his leadership is illegitimate following a disputed 2018 election, with countries around the world disavowing his government.

After promising ambitious economic measures ahead of yesterday’s speech, Maduro’s proposals included a 300 percent minimum wage hike, dialogue with business leaders, and increased use of an inexistent state-backed cryptocurrency.

According to Reuters, that would make little difference to Venezuela’s dire situation, economists and analysts said.



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