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South America Announces New Banco del Sur

Brazil and Ecuador gave a combined press conference today announcing their intentions of joining the Banco del Sur, a new regional financial institution created by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Feb. 21, 2007 to replace institutions like the IMF and World Bank.

The announcements come one week before a Brazilian sponsored summit in Rio de Janeiro where representatives from Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brasil, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile as an observer.

Amorim announced at the press conference that he was "pretty sure, because of conversations I have had recently, that we are going to reach an agreement" and that at the Foreign Ministers reunion in Rio we can expect "a foundational agreement that will decide statutes at a later date."

So far only Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Paraguay have announced their intention of joining the Bank which means that all eyes will be on Uruguay and Chile to see what their reaction to Monday's meeting is. Notably omissions from the list of attendees are Peru, Colombia, Guyana and Surinam, all part of Unasur as well.

By Nathan Gill - Southern Affairs
www.southernaffairs.org

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