Venezuela Negotiating with Exxon only through International Abitration, Confirms Oil Minister

Contrary to some media reports, the Venezuelan state has not negotiated directly with the U.S. company, ExxonMobil, with regards to compensation, after the Venezuelan government made the sovereign decision to nationalize operations in the Orinoco Oil Belt in May 2007.

By AVN/MinCi

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Rafael Ramirez, President of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, confirmed that the government was not in direct negotiations with Exxonmobil (venezuela-us.org)
Rafael Ramirez, President of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, confirmed that the government was not in direct negotiations with Exxonmobil (venezuela-us.org)
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Prosecutor General Carlos Escarrá: 'Expropriation cases will be paid in fair amounts and in accordance with the law'

Contrary to some media reports, the Venezuelan state has not negotiated directly with the U.S. company, ExxonMobil, with regards to compensation, after the Venezuelan government made the sovereign decision to nationalize operations in the Orinoco Oil Belt in May 2007.

"As president of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), I want to explain accurately and responsibly to Venezuela and the world that we are not in direct discussions with ExxonMobil to negotiate this dispute outside of the procedures that have taken place within international arbitration," said the Venezuelan Minister of Energy and Oil, Rafael Ramírez, on Wednesday.

Ramírez described reports published in some media sources as false, since they suggested that PDVSA was planning to pay an exorbitant amount for the nationalization of ExxonMobil assets.

"None of this is true. There are no direct negotiations between the companies. Nor are we prepared to pay the abusive amount that this transnational company is asking from the sovereign people, who have exercised their right to manage and apply their own oil policy," he said in a PDVSA press release.

Ramírez highlighted that when President Hugo Chavez took office in 1999, oil wealth was in the hands of the private sectors, who were submissive to the U.S. empire; but now Venezuela is a sovereign nation with regards to the management of its resources and oil industry.

"Once again, Yankee imperialism, through its transnational companies, is attempting to attack Venezuela's main industry and people in order to destabilize the Bolivarian Revolution," he said.

Payment for Expropriations

The Venezuelan Prosecutor General, Carlos Escarrá, stated yesterday that the Venezuelan state is aware of its responsibilities and will pay for the expropriation in the event of a trial, but how much the nation pays is a matter to be determined.

"It (Exxonmobil) was suing for US $ 20,000 billion. Then it reduced it to US $ 12 billion. It is evident they were trying to rob us. Now the figure has been reduced to US $ 6 billion. Venezuela has to pay the expropriation, and we, as a state, know that. In these cases, Venezuela has to pay for the migration case. The problem is how much" stated the minister.

"With regards to expropriations, there should be no enrichment or impoverishment," he said, after attending the International Seminar on Human Rights in the New Latin American Constitutionalism, organized by the Venezuelan Ombudsman's Office in Caracas.

Edited by Venezuelanalysis.com