Amidst the flurry of news in the middle of February — Chavez cancer, Venezuela shipping diesel to Syria, my folks coming to visit — I never even noticed this article come out. But man, it’s interesting. I had no idea that Empresas Polar had taken the Venezuelan government to international arbitration. This is at least the second case of an ostensibly Venezuelan company using a foreign shell company to get protection under international arbitration rules, rather than being stuck with the rather weak protections of Venezuela’s domestic court system.
Let the brainiacs at Reuters tell the story:
Top Venezuela firm files arbitration against Chavez government
(Reuters) – A Barbados-based holding company led by executives of Venezuelan food and beermaker Empresas Polar has filed an international arbitration claim against President Hugo Chavez’s government over its nationalization of a fertilizer project, documents show.
The move may set a precedent for Venezuelan companies seeking access to international courts to settle disputes with the socialist government that otherwise would be litigated by local judges, who critics say are controlled by Chavez.