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Chavez: Latin America should abandon IDB

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- President Hugo Chavez is urging his leftist allies in Latin America and the Caribbean to stop seeking loans from the Inter-American Development Bank.

Chavez claims the United States uses the Washington-based bank to exercise political pressure on Latin American countries.

The bank was created in 1959 to encourage economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean. It provides loans to governments for a wide range of projects.

Chavez encouraged the leaders of Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador and Dominica during a summit in Caracas on Wednesday to create their own regional development bank as an alternative.

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