Chavez threatens to withdraw from ICSID
President Chavez has threatened to withdraw from the World Bank affiliated International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
The Chavez government is in dispute with seventeen companies including Exxon Mobil which has recently won an award for $900 million against the country following the nationalisation of an oil venture in 2007.
The move is reportedly going to take some time to complete if it is carried through and will harm the country’s ability to obtain credit. Analysts are saying that the companies involved might resort to attempting to freeze the country’s assets if the move goes ahead. Bloomberg reports that Chavez’s nationalisation programme has involved more than $33.7 billion in assets. To avoid payment the country would also have to renegotiate more than twenty other treaties involving investment regulation.
The president made the ICSID announcement in his ‘Hello President’ broadcast yesterday, the first since his illness took him off the air in June 2011. The marathon six hour broadcast also included references to the October presidential election and his opponents.