Jpm5000000pmThu, 03 May 2007 22:42:46 -080007 23, 2007

Recently, Hugo Chavez announced that he intends to remove Venezuela from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.  Over the last eight years, his government has been able to pay off all of its debts to both organizations and now that he is not obligated to them, he wants to sever the ties with what he calls the “Washington organizations.”  Furthermore, he is looking to create a regional equivalent to the two organizations with the help from several other Latin American countries. 

            So the question is: will this action set a precedent for the rest of South America to stop relying on the United States and other so called neo-liberalist institutions?  Currently, I am unaware of the rest of Latin America and South America’s debt issues, but most likely they are still repaying the IMF and World Bank.  Therefore, if these countries were able to pay off their debts, would they join Venezuela in creating a regional economic institution with many of the properties of the IMF?  Furthermore, would an institution in this part of the world work?

            While these are pretty far fetched ideas (and I do have my doubts about them), there have been crazier things to happen in the world.  Personally, I think that if the IMF were ever in the situation that it might lose a large majority of its member nations (in the case that much of South America left and a portion of the world followed), I think they would consider reforming some of the policies to become more partial to the rest of the world.  Overall, it seems like the ideas that Chavez is preaching to South America and his allies—most of the rhetoric is anti American, anti-globalization, anti-capitalist, etc.—is considered outlandish and nonsense here in the North; but I think it is a different story in some of the southern nations. 


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