President Hugo Chavez has announced that he would formally pull Venezuela out of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"We will no longer have to go to Washington, neither to the IMF, nor the World Bank, not to anyone,'' said Chavez who has already canceled Venezuela's debts to the Washington-based international lending organizations.

Chavez said he wanted to formalize Venezuela's exit from the lending institutions which he said are to blame for continued poverty throughout Latin America. He reportedly plans to create a lending bank run by nations in the region.

Venezuela has recently repaid its debts to the World Bank five years ahead of schedule, which saved the country eight million dollars. The OPEC country also paid off all its debts to the IMF shortly after Chavez first took office in 1999. IMF closed its offices in the country last year.

AKM/KB


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