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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

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    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    Bank of the South, championed by Venezuela, begins to take form

    Seven South American countries are expected to inaugurate the new bank at a ceremony on Nov. 3 in Caracas, Venezuela's capital, where it will be based. At a meeting here last week the countries - Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela - agreed to create an institution with up to $7 billion in initial capital, paving the way for the bank to begin operating as early as 2008.

    An eighth country, Colombia, said last week that it wanted to be included as well. Its president, Álvaro Uribe, said that his country would join as long as the new bank was an "expression of solidarity and brotherhood," and not a rejection of the international lending institutions.

    The Bank of the South will be designed to promote investment in infrastructure and could help stimulate greater regional trade and integration. Chávez sees it as an alternative financing institution to the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund, all of which have significant Washington involvement.

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