Tuesday, May 1, 2007
"Venezuela is to withdraw from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, after Hugo Chavez, the country's president, said it no longer required the institutions. Chavez made the announcement on Monday as part of plans to create an alternative lending bank run by South American nations.
"I want to formalise our exit from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund," Chavez said, issuing an order for Rodrigo Cabezas, Venezuela's finance minister, to begin proceedings to withdraw from the organisations. "We are going to withdraw before they go and rob us."....
Chavez intends to set up a new lender run by Latin American nations which he has called the 'Bank of the South'. He has pledged to support it with Venezuela's oil revenues. Separately, Chavez also offered on Sunday to contribute $250m to a new regional co-operation fund.......
Chavez blames the two organisations' economic programmes of tight budget control, privatisation and open markets for continued poverty across Latin America. After years of strong oil prices, Venezuela said it paid off its final debts to the World Bank this month.
On Monday, Chavez announced a 20 per cent minimum wage rise and a gradual reduction in the working day to six hours, as part of a rejection of IMF and World Bank policies.
Venezuela is one of several countries, particularly in Latin America, that have reduced their dependence on the IMF and World Bank in the last few years. Other Latin American countries are also distancing themselves from international lenders. Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua's president said on Sunday that he hopes to "get out of that prison" of IMF debt and that "we are negotiating with the Fund to leave the Fund."
Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, said last week that Chavez was damaging his country "economically and politically".
As part of his continuing programme of nationalisation, Chavez on Tuesday will lead a rally to take over the operations of oil projects in the Orinoco Belt, currently run by some of the world's largest companies. "The importance of this is that we are taking back control of the Orinoco Belt which the president rightly calls the world's biggest crude reserve," said Marco Ojeda, an oil union leader, before the planned rally....."
Compare Chavez and Latin America with the Arab world stable. Compare their policies towards the robber "world Bank" with the Palestinians having one of the robber bank's former officials as their "finance minister." I am of course referring to Saudi-imposed World-Bank-Fayyad.
The Arabs are light years behind and are getting further behind.