Saturday, August 04, 2007

Adios, Washington Consensus

From yesterday's Washington Post:

After two decades of reliance on the economic prescriptions of the United States, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Bolivia has turned left, embracing Venezuelan and Cuban aid, nationalizing industries and championing what its leaders call a pragmatic version of socialism.

Bolivia's break from Washington is part of a regional trend underwritten by Chávez, who has lavished aid on allies to roll back the influence of the United States and Washington-based institutions that have long shaped Latin America's development.

In the past two years, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Argentina and Ecuador have used Venezuelan aid to pay off their debts to the IMF or allow credit agreements to lapse, while adopting unorthodox development strategies that would have been barred so long as they depended on the fund for credit.