By now you’ve probably heard it said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez likes nothing more than to “snub” the United States whenever possible.
What you may not have heard is that, most of the time, his policy initiatives are considered genuine attempts at fostering economic development for Venezuela and other countries in the region.
One such effort, the ALBA Bank, is being launched in Venezuela this weekend with government representatives from Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba. The ALBA Bank could begin with as much as $1.5 billion in capital to fund social programs and regional economic development, according to Venezuelan officials.
The bank is being inaugurated as part of the activities of the sixth summit of ALBA (the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas). It was also announced today that ALBA will include a cultural fund used to promote the production of books, movies, and fine arts in the member countries. The cultural fund will help preserve the popular and folk cultures that are unique to each country.