Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Venezuela Quits World Bank/IMF

President Hugo Chavez announced Monday he would pull Venezuela out of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, a largely symbolic move because the nation has already paid off its debts to the lending institutions.

"We will no longer have to go to Washington nor to the IMF nor to the World Bank, not to anyone," said the leftist leader, who has long railed against the Washington-based lending institutions.

Venezuela, one of the world's top oil exporters, recently repaid its debts to the World Bank five years ahead of schedule, saving $8 million. It paid off all its debts to the IMF shortly after Chavez first took office in 1999. The IMF closed its offices in Venezuela late last year.

Chavez, who says he wants to steer Venezuela toward socialism, made the announcement a day after telling a meeting of allied leaders that Latin America would be better off without the U.S.-backed World Bank or IMF. He has often blamed their lending policies for perpetuating poverty.

Chavez wants to set up a new lender run by Latin American nations and has pledged to support it with Venezuela's booming oil revenues. The regional lender, which he has called "Bank of the South," would dole out financing for state projects across Latin America.

Chavez has criticized past Venezuelan governments for signing agreements with the IMF to restructure the economy -- plans blamed for contributing to racing inflation.

Under former President Carlos Andres Perez in 1989, violent protests broke out in Caracas in response to IMF austerity measures that brought a hike in subsidized gasoline prices and public transport fares.

Enraged people took the streets in violence that killed at least 300 people -- and possibly many more. The riots came to be known as the "Caracazo," and Chavez often refers to it as a rebellion against the status quo.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very impressed. If only other countries would follow his excellent example and then Paul W. and his girlfriend would be out of their million dollar jobs...

Now if only I could pay off my mortgage...

Dena

5/01/2007 10:56 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

True.

Without the World Bank, the oxymoronically named "neoliberal globalization" wouldn't be able to sink its fangs into developing countries.

The World Bank/IMF makes loans to these nations on the condition that they take all sorts of measures that may not be in their own self-interest -- but is certainly in the interests of the big money.

These developing nations soon find themselves beholden to the financiers and their agenda.

And Paul W. looks to be on the way out.

5/01/2007 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Henk Ruyssenaars said...

John Perkins who is an insider of the IMF and World Bank has a new book, here written about by Greg Palast with the title:

John Perkins: Jerk, Con-man, Shill

Url.: http://tinyurl.com/2ukl4t

Henk R.

7/06/2007 6:42 AM  

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