By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Jan. 28 — A ledger book currency called the SUCRE took effect Wednesday among the countries belonging to the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) and has a value of US $1.25, announced Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
“The Sucre is now in force and is a concrete and direct answer to the old problem in international economic relations of the asymmetries between the different economies,” Venezuelan legislator Roy Daza told Xinhua news service.
Daza added that the member countries will have “important savings” from not having to buy hard currencies for their imports and should be a stimulus for increased trade among the ALBA nations.
The ALBA Council of Ministers also agreed to create a food production initiative to “produce seeds, fertilizers, equipment and tools, to develop farm production, processing industries and exchange mechanisms.”
Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Dominica, Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda, San Vincent and the Grenadines are the seven active ALBA member countries. Honduras was a member under deposed President Manuel Zelaya.
The ALBA stresses fraternity among sister nations, mutually beneficial trade and social development. It is seen by its proponents as an alternative to free trade schemes designed by the United States.