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Bank of the South Founded in Buenos Aires

Dec. 9, 2007 (EIRNS)—Seven South American nations today will take the historic step of founding the Bank of the South, a regional bank representing the sovereign governments of the area, with a mandate to finance the integrated economic and social development of all the countries of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). In a ceremony in Buenos Aires, the Presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Venezuela, and a cabinet minister from Uruguay, were to sign the founding document establishing the bank late this afternoon.

The Economics Ministers of these countries now have 60 days in which to finally resolve key details of how the bank will function which have yet to be agreed upon.

Although the bank will not become operational immediately, its founding provides the seed crystal for Ibero-American participation in the creation of a new, sovereign-based international financial system, free of the dictates of private financier interests whose system is disintegrating. The obstacles that the Bank of the South has faced at every step, reflect in each case dirty operations run by these financiers (Santander Bank, IMF, et al.), who fear the ghost of Lyndon LaRouche's 1982 "Operation Juárez" strategy for Ibero-American integration they see arising with the Bank of the South.

The new bank will permit Ibero-America "to free ourselves of those chains which tie us to financial dependency," Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, one of the intellectual architects of the bank, told the press upon arriving in Buenos Aires today. "We have a common past. The time has come to seek a common destiny." The bank will free the region from institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank which "have enslaved us with [their] credits," Correa declared on his weekly national radio program Saturday.

A key Brazilian official involved in the project, Luiz Eduardo Melin de Carvalho, International Affairs Secretary at the Treasury Ministry, emphasized the issue of sovereignty, in his testimony before a Brazilian Congress committee hearing on Dec. 6. The bank will not duplicate what other multilateral institutions offer, because this is to be "an institution which responds directly to the South American governments, without political ties that constrain the region's aims," he said.