Venezuela Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged his Latin American allies on Saturday to begin withdrawing billions of dollars in international reserves from U.S. banks, warning of a looming U.S. economic crisis.
Chavez made the suggestion as he hosted a summit aimed at boosting Latin American integration and countering U.S. influence.
"We should start to bring our reserves here," Chavez said. "Why does that money have to be in the north? ... You can't put all your eggs in one basket."
To help pool resources within the region, Chavez and other leaders launched a new development bank at the summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Nations of Our America, or ALBA.
The left-leaning regional trade alliance supported by Chavez is intended to offer an alternative, socialist path to integration while snubbing U.S.-backed free-trade deals.