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US corporations threaten to seize Venezuelan assets in US in retaliation for nationalisations

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On Green Left discussion list, Stuart Munckton wrote:

[Could be potentially significant if Exxon and Conoco go through with this threat to take legal action seize - expropriate - the assets of Citgo - Venezuelan state-owned petrol distribution company in the US - in "compensation"
for the nationalisation of their investments in Venezuela. They have absolutely no moral grounds of course, Venezuela is a sovereign nation that has merely decided it wants to have control over all aspects of its most valuable asset - its oil. It has not seized or expropriated foreign companies, it has called for them to negotiate to stay in the country as minority shareholders. Venezuela has made it clear it will compensate corporations for their losses through the nationalisation - other companies in similar situations have been compensated, as is required by Venezuelan law.

Exxon and Conoco are already guaranteed compensation, even though they are ending negtiations and walking out of the country because they didn't like the new rules drawn up by the elected government. Then they threaten to do the VERY THING Chavez is accused of doing, or potentially doing, but isn't - expropriation of Venezuelan assets if they are unhappy with the compensation Venezuela offers them. Chavez is accused of "bullying" corporations, yet take the road of negoitiation and compensation. In retaliation, Venezuela is threatened with expropriation of its assets in Venezuela.

So who are the real bullies and autocrats here? This would be a very hostile act, with no basis, aimed at intimidating governments from daring to impose conditions on US corporations right to plunder the planet. it would obviously
escalate hostilities between Venezuela and US dramatically - unless the Venezuelan government decided to back down, and it has shown no signs of retreating so far in confrontations with imperialism.

It could set in motion a process similar to what happened in Cuba, where the US responded to measures it didn't like with economic attacks on Cuba that the revolutionary government in turn responded with nationalising US assets. This
potential - given the record of the Chavez government in constantly pushing further forward and exercising their backbone in dealing with imperialism and responding to attack with counterattack - could well convince imperialism not to take this road - certainly those US corporations who have not taken the approach of Exxon and Conoco and are staying in Venezuela may not appreciate such a move.]

Citgo assets may be at risk in arbitration
Experts say Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil could seek Venezuela's refineries in U.S.

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