Order for Venezuela to pay Exxon $1.4 bln in damages overturned

CNBC-01A World Bank tribunal’s order for Venezuela to pay $1.4 billion in damages to Exxon Mobil Corp over nationalizations has been annulled, a lawyer for the Venezuelan government said on Thursday.

The case at the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes is one of many arising from nationalizations during late President Hugo Chavez’s 1999-2013 rule of the South American OPEC member country.

“We were confident all along that our position was correct and are very pleased that the annulment committee agreed,” Venezuela’s lawyer George Kahale said.

A reduction to the overall $1.6 billion award would be welcome news to President Nicolas Maduro’s cash-strapped government as it faces heavy foreign debt repayments amid a deep economic recession that has led to widespread shortages.

The ICSID ruling, dated Thursday, said “portions of the award” were annulled but did not give a breakdown of figures. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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