Presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia blame "capitalism," "imperialism" for crisis

Other News Materials 1 October 2008 02:05 (UTC +04:00)

Presidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia on Tuesday blamed "capitalism" and "imperialism" for the financial crisis that is shaking world markets, dpa reported.

"Nobody knows how far this crash will get. I am among those who believe that the crash of neoliberalism (extreme capitalism) will be worse than that of 1929, it will affect the whole world. No country can say that they will not be affected," Chavez said in the Brazilian city of Manaus.

In the same city, Morales reiterated his comments that "where there is capitalism, there is looting, exploitation and poverty."

In Manaus, Morales and Chavez were set to meet with Presidents Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, all of them exponents of the political left.

The Bolivian leader criticized the 700-billion-dollar package proposed by US President George W Bush to bail out the northern giant's financial sector.

"How can it be that the poor have to pay the price of the rich's crisis? In Bolivia, we nationalize (natural resources) so that the people have money. In the United States, they want to nationalize the debt and the crisis of the people who have money," Morales insisted.

On Monday, Lula called for "wisdom" in the United States in the face of the ongoing credit crisis.

"The emerging economies that did everything right cannot now be victims of the casino that (the bankers) set up in the United States," Lula said.

He claimed that Brazil's economy - the tenth largest in the world - would not be "contaminated" by the financial turmoil in the north.

"We are aware of the seriousness of the crisis, but we are sure that exports and imports are still fine, and that our industry is still fine. We are conscious of what is happening, but we are calm," Lula said.

The four participants in the Manaus meeting were set to discuss bilateral issues, regional integration and the international situation, as well as the stalling creation of a Bank of the South.