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Last Updated:[25-01-2010 08:02:50 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Latin American Countries to Begin Single Currency Talks

tradenews The trade ministers of an alliance of Latin American Countries (ALBA) will meet today to discuss the operational launch of a regional electronic currency. In last April, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the leftist leaders of the region agreed to minimize the US dollar dependence by launching a Latin American currency styled in line with the euro.

Chavez during a political rally on Saturday apprised that the leaders would meet on Monday in Caracas to further shape an extraordinary project" on a currency that will "break the dependency on the dollar, its economic and financial colonialism.

The currency called Sucre was named after Jose Antonio de Sucre who fought for independence from Spain alongside the Venezuelan hero Simon Bolivar in the early 19th century. The currency is expected to initially function as an electronic instrument before it is made to a paper format.

The Sucre is likely to be in circulation as the ECU, which was a forerunner to the euro. Then, the ECU was operational as an account unit managing the stable exchange rates between member states before the national currencies were assimilated to the euro.

Since the signing of MOU on the Latin American currency last year, Chavez has repeatedly urged his member states to cut down foreign reserves in the form of the US dollars. Most South American countries stored their reserves in the US dollars, and for the past several years the socialist states of the region wanted to detach them from the US domination in regional trade. The growing influence of China in the region has also compels the left countries seeking new ways to store cash.

The ALBA comprises of Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. The ALBA was founded in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba as a counterweight to the Free Trade Area of the Americas that the US and some Latin American nations were proposing at the time.

By Jose Roy

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