Bolivarian Alternative for the
Americas Bank to Be Established in 2007
by Chris Carlson
Global Research, September 27,
Representatives from the four countries
that make up the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA),
Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, met in Managua this week
to discuss the formation of the Bank of ALBA. The new fund will
be dedicated to promoting social and economic development in the
region and could be operating by the end of the year, officials
"We are establishing a new regional
financial architecture under principles that create a new form
of channeling financial resources to our countries," said
Nicaraguan representative Alberto Guevara.
Representatives from the four countries
signed a document in Managua to agree to the formation. According
to Guevara, each ALBA member country will have an equal participation
in the fund and will work to complement each other in social and
economic development. Guevara emphasized that the financing that
the fund will provide will not come with conditions as are common
with funding from international financial organizations.
Officials have said that one of the fundamental
purposes for the new development bank, as well as the proposed
Bank of the South, is to free countries of the region from dependence
on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Financing
from these organizations usually comes with conditions that many
say are damaging to the development of poor countries and favor
the interests of developed countries.
Guevara assured that each member country
will be able to define which sectors and priorities for economic
development it wants to finance, and that the bank will provide
them with resources to finance their development. He gave as some
examples, energy, health care, water, and small and medium-sized
The ALBA member countries have also discussed
the formation of joint companies between the countries, and have
said that the bank could be used to finance these operations.
Officials have stated that the bank will provide low cost credit
to member countries so that they can carry out development projects
with a guarantee of financial backing and will also be open to
participation from other countries.
The Bank of ALBA will be further discussed
at the ALBA Committee of Ministers meeting in Havana, Cuba in
September, and then will go on to be evaluated by the presidents
of each ALBA member country. Guevara said that an agreement could
be signed by the end of the year, allowing for the bank to begin
operations in the near future. The bank headquarters will be in
the Venezuelan capital, but it will also have branch departments
in each member country.
Iran Requests To Participate In ALBA
Returning from a visit to Iran, Minister
of Foreign Affairs Nicolas Maduro announced that Iran has expressed
interest in belonging to the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas
(ALBA) as an observer country. Maduro received the request from
the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Manoucherh Mottakki,
during a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran this week.
Mottakki said that his government has
made the request because ALBA "is a development and cooperative
model based on principles of solidarity and mutual respect among
the countries that conform it."
Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque
said that in addition to discussing the Bank of ALBA, Iran's request
will also be discussed at the September meeting in Havana.
"We will also discuss other categories
of participation for countries that want to have a stable relationship
with ALBA without being a member. In that sense, we are going
to create conditions to be able to respond to Iran about what
ways their intention to be an observing member can materialize."
Perez Roque emphasized the accomplishments
of ALBA to date, defining ALBA as a "new integration mechanism"
proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
"We are building the road. In Latin
America and the Caribbean there are 33 countries, and almost 500
million inhabitants, with a very significant GNP. If we act in
a united way we can be a great force. The results the ALBA programs
are already visible in our countries. It is not a theoretical
discussion, it's not a document to store away in a drawer. These
are concrete programs that benefit our countries," he said.
Global Research Articles by Chris