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Unformatted text preview: r goods for public benefit. This exception obviously creates the legal pathway for nationalization. Although Maduro has yet to invoke this policy during his time in office, his predecessor frequently nationalized firms to assert governmental control. American firms were not the only ones subject to having their assets seized during Chavez’s time in office. Foreign oil companies have been frequently targeted; but to say that Exxon Mobil and Conoco Phillips were singled out for being North American firms would an incomplete explanation at best. Oil was, and continues to be, the crux of the chavista economic program. In addition to being its primary revenue stream, it is often used as a source of repayment for loans from China. It is also used to support its alliances with countries like Belarus, Cuba, Iran, and Syria. Thus, a firm of any national origin with a controlling interest in a key asset like energy, is far more likely to be nationalized than an American company with no assets of strategic value for the Venezuelan government.¶ Recent attempts to thaw relations have been thwarted by new obstacles, such as the ongoing Snowden saga referred to earlier, as well as Ve...
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- Summer '12