Chavez urges withdrawals from U.S. banks

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 rolling back 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.”

Chavez noted that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Colombia in recent days, saying “that has to do with this summit.”

“The empire doesn’t accept alternatives,” Chavez told the gathering, attended by the presidents of Bolivia and Nicaragua and Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage.

Chavez warned that U.S. “imperialism is entering into a crisis that can affect all of us” and said Latin America “will save itself alone.”

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