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Venezuela to Reconsider Leaving Andean Community


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his country is willing to reconsider pulling out of the five-nation Andean Community trade bloc.

Mr. Chavez on Monday said Venezuela would reconsider its decision if Colombia and Peru reconsider their free trade deals with the United States.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has called on Mr. Chavez to reverse his decision, and he also called for a meeting to save the bloc.

Last week, President Chavez said the bloc is "fatally wounded" because Colombia and Peru finalized free trade agreements with the U.S.

Advocates say the free trade deals open up markets and create more jobs. Critics say the pacts leave developing countries at a disadvantage with competition from cheaper U.S. products.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.
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