January 13, 2006


Venezuela proposes 'Bank of the South' (Kelly Hearn, January 13, 2006, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

Oil-rich Venezuela, having recently helped Argentina to pay off its debt to the International Monetary Fund, is floating the idea of a new "Bank of the South" that would offer no-strings loans in competition to the U.S.-backed IMF.

America is filthy rich and we still resent every dollar spent on foreign aid--imagine how unpopular giving away money will be among Venezuelans?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 13, 2006 7:44 AM

Hugo wants to transfer his country's wealth to the IMF?
Fine, go right ahead. Can't buy much with money he doesn't have. And I am certain the gratitude of the Argentinian government will be long-lasting. And solid, rock-solid.

Posted by: mikey at January 13, 2006 10:43 AM

So, let me see if I get this straight . . . a monomaniacal dictator is going to take the funds amassed in his kleptocratic Third World fiefdom and loan it on generous credit terms to other monomaniacal dictators in other kleptocratic Third World fiefdoms, with no conditions on the use of the funds.

And he expects to be repaid?

Posted by: Mike Morley at January 13, 2006 10:45 AM

Continuing the string of comments by guys named Mike: I might be wrong, but didn't Argentina just default on a bunch of their loans?

Posted by: Mike Beversluis at January 13, 2006 11:02 AM

What gives you any reason to believe that Chavez gives a fig about whether his policies are popular among Venezuelans?

Posted by: b at January 13, 2006 12:32 PM

b: What dictator worries about actual popularity when he can get assent through fear?
Although the loans may be just to insure that he'll be able to retire somewhere nice after some Colonel in the army makes nasty.

Posted by: Mikey at January 13, 2006 12:36 PM

He's an elected leader.

Posted by: oj at January 13, 2006 12:42 PM

Tee-hee. You know better than that, unless you are now willing to take Jimmy Carter's word for it. There will be democratic elections in Syria before there are any more in Venezuela. And Cuba. Possibly North Korea, too.

Posted by: b at January 13, 2006 12:47 PM

It's not elections that count, Orrin, it's standing for re-election. B's right, Chavez is probably El Presidente for life now.

Posted by: joe shropshire at January 13, 2006 1:28 PM

He's been re-elected.

Posted by: oj at January 13, 2006 2:12 PM

And survived a coup attempt and a recall attempt. And the latter would have made Richard J. Daley and Ron Sims proud. It was certified by The Big Peanut himself, need I say more?

Never underestimate the ability of the mob to support a tyrant as long as the bread and circuses continue.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 13, 2006 2:53 PM

Hugo showed the way for how to cheat with electronic voting - just reverse the algorithm.

OJ - saying that he was re-elected is akin to defending Mugabe or Saddam in their last "elections". The only thing Hugo hasn't done (yet) is mass torture and murder. But he is getting started, now isn't he?

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 13, 2006 2:58 PM

Had the opposition been effective and popular they'd have beat him same as in Iran. Democracy renders bad results as well as good.

Posted by: oj at January 13, 2006 3:34 PM

Democracy can certainly render bad results, but the results of the last referendum weren't democratically obtained.

The only way that the opposition could have been more effective is via armed revolution.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 14, 2006 4:54 AM