Venezuela to Leave IMF, World Bank

Chávez government exerts state control over privately owned oil projects
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2007 8:32 AM CDT
In this image released by Venezuela's Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks at an event celebrating labor day in Caracas, Monday, April 30, 2007, where he announced he would...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hugo Chávez said yesterday he will pull Venezuela out of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, institutions the leftist leader blames for contributing to poverty in Latin America. Venezuela will also take control of foreign oil projects previously run by multinational companies, some U.S.-based, in a bid to use control over oil to influence world politics.

The withdrawal from the IMF and World Bank is largely symbolic; Venezuela has discharged its obligations to both. The nationalization of the country's rich oil fields is part of Chávez's plan to replace the U.S.—possibly with China—as the main customer for Venezuelan oil, increasing U.S. reliance on Middle Eastern suppliers.