Chavez Renounces World Bank Tribunal

Posted January 8th, 2012 at 3:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Venezuela's president says his country will not recognize any rulings by the World Bank's arbitration panel, which is set to hear arguments this year in a multi-billion-dollar dispute between the Latin American country and U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil.

Hugo Chavez made the remarks in a televised address Sunday, a week after a separate tribunal ordered Venezuela to pay nearly $1 billion in the same dispute.

Exxon sought arbitration after Venezuela nationalized an oil project in 2007. The oil company initially sought as much as $12 billion.

Venezuela's state-owned oil firm has said it will pay Exxon $255 million of last week's of $907 million award, saying it will be deducting certain debts owed by Exxon.

President Chavez has made oil reform the centerpiece of his plan to create a 21st century socialist revolution in Venezuela.