The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela formalized on January 24th its denunciation before the World Bank of the 1996 Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States, which established the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Venezuela adhered to the convention in 1993 due to the decision of a weak provisional government lacking popular legitimacy and under pressure by transnational economic sectors that participated in the dismantling of Venezuelan national sovereignty.
The 1999 Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela invalidates, in its spirit and letter, the dispositions of said convention, when it states in article 151 that “in contracts of public interest, unless inapplicable due to the nature of those contracts, a clause shall be deemed included even if not expressed, whereby any doubts and controversies which may arise concerning such contracts and which cannot be resolved amicably by the contracting parties, shall be decided by the competent courts of the Republic, in accordance with its laws and shall not on any grounds or for any reason give rise to foreign claims.”
In accordance with the constitutional mandate, the Bolivarian Government has acted in order to protect the right of the Venezuelan people to determine the strategic orientations of the economic and social life of the nation, an international jurisdiction that has ruled in favor of transnational interests 232 times in the 234 cases it has taken on throughout its history.
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will continue to implement policies of defense and national sovereignty, particularly in relation to ownership over strategic assets, while always offering just compensation to the affected persons or corporate bodies in accordance with Venezuelan laws.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will continue working with the nations of the world so that international institutions cease to be the guardians of hegemonic interests, and instead contribute to the consolidation of a pluri-polar world in equilibrium and in accordance with the fundamental principles of international law.
Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs
Caracas, January 25, 2012