Venezuela officially withdraws from ICSID

February 18, 2012

By Julián Cárdenas García, Doctoral Fellow at the Research Center of International Investment and Trade Law, CREDIMI – Université de Bourgogne


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela recently denounced the ICSID Convention through a Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Release (Spanish):

Unofficial translation:

Venezuelan Government Withdraws from ICSID
Venezuelan Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs.-

The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela gave notice to  the World Bank on January 24th, of its irrevocable denunciation of the  “Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States  and Nationals of Other States” of 1966, which established the  International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Venezuela acceded to the Convention in 1993, by the decision of a  provisional and weak government, devoid of popular legitimacy, and  under the pressure of transnational economic sectors involved in the  dismantling of Venezuela’s national sovereignty.

The Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela of 1999  
renders null and void, in spirit and in letter, the provisions of the  
ICSID Convention, when Article 151 sets forth that “in contracts of  public interest, unless inapplicable by reason of the nature of such  contracts, a clause shall be deemed included even if not expressed,  that any doubts and controversies which may arise concerning such  contracts and which cannot be settled 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”.

Following the constitutional mandate, the Bolivarian Government has  proceeded to protect the right of the Venezuelan people to decide over  the strategic directions of the economic and social life of the  nation, withdrawing from an international jurisdiction which has ruled  232 times in favor of transnational interests, within the 234 cases  filed throughout its history.

The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will continue  implementing policies in order to defend the national sovereignty,  particularly with regard to the ownership of strategic assets, always  providing fair compensation to the individuals and legal entities,  eventually affected, in accordance with Venezuelan law.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will continue working together  with the nations of the world, in order that international  institutions ceased to be the guardians of hegemonic interests, and to  contribute consolidating a multipolar and balanced world, according to  the founding principles of international law.

Caracas, January 25, 2012



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