Wednesday, May 2, 2007
This is hugely important – this may precipitate many more events
Venezuela's leader Hugo Chavez has underlined his intention to develop an alternative economic vision for Latin America by pulling his country from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund - organisations that have long had a controversial role in the region.
He is also to nationalise operational control of four oil field projects currently run by foreign companies.
Though Venezuela has paid off its loans to the two international lending organisations, Mr Chavez's announcement that he intends to quit the organisations is powerfully symbolic. It is likely to lead to other smaller nations to question their membership and demand a greater say in the organisations' policies.