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Chavez Ridicules Capitalism, Opens Iranian-Venezuelan Bank

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has denounced capitalism during a visit to Iran, and announced the founding of a joint Iranian-Venezuelan bank.

Mr. Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opened the Tehran-based commercial bank Friday, aimed at helping trade and industrial projects between the two countries.

The Venezuelan leader has encouraged bilateral ties as part of what he calls a South-South dialogue, or Southern Hemisphere alliance, counterbalancing northern nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

In comments to Venezuelan state television late Thursday, Mr. Chavez ridiculed this week's G20 summit and its attempts to ease the global economic crisis. He dismissed its pledge of $500 billion to enlarge the International Monetary Fund as "entrusting beef to vultures."

Mr. Chavez arrived in Tehran for his most recent visit Wednesday. He is set to travel to Japan in the coming days.

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