Latam leftists to meet on new regional currency

CARACAS — Venezuela and leftist allies will meet Monday in Caracas to fine tune a new regional currency to break the “dependency on the (US) dollar,” President Hugo Chavez said Saturday.

“On Monday… we’ll have a very important meeting of economy ministers from ALBA to further shape an extraordinary project” on a currency that will “break the dependency on the dollar, its economic and financial colonialism,” Chavez told a political rally.

The new currency, named the Sucre after Jose Antonio de Sucre, who fought for independence from Spain alongside Venezuelan hero Simon Bolivar in the early 19th century, is expected to be rolled out early this year in a non-paper form.

The currency for regional trade was agreed to in an October meeting of ALBA.

That move echoes the European Union’s introduction of the euro precursor, the ECU, an account unit designed to tie down stable exchange rates between member states before the national currencies were scrapped.

ALBA was founded in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba as a counterweight to the Free Trade Area of the Americas that the United States and several Latin American nations were proposing at the time.

ALBA’s member states are Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and Antigua and Barbuda.

Source: AFP

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