Venezuela Will Takeover Private Banks that Fail, Says Chávez

November 3, 2008 ( In contrast to the governments of countries in the Global North, including the United States, France, and Britain, Venezuela will expropriate, not bailout, private banks that fail amidst the world financial crisis, President Hugo Chávez announced Saturday.

“If here in Venezuela something similar [to the failure of banks in the North] happens, have no doubt that I am not going to give even a cent to the bankers, I’ll take their banks from them, I’ll expropriate them,” Chávez said during an inauguration ceremony for the construction of a new international airport in the state of Barinas.

Chávez said it is “strange” that rich countries say there is no money to fight against poverty, then they quickly summon hundreds of billions, “not to produce food, medicines, and to give education, but to help out the broken banks.”

Also, the president repeated his past assurances that the Venezuelan economy will not fall victim to the financial crisis, and that his government will tighten the screws on funding this year in order to make projects more efficient.