Please, Take my Oil Company

The Venezuelan government is now facing over $40 billion in arbitration claims relating to 19 cases at ICSID, the World Bank’s arbitration panel. (A few of those claims seem wildly inflated, but no matter.) Now, Chávez says he wants to withdraw from ICSID altogether. Que belleza!

Now, here’s the part I don’t get. Why would Chávez start gabbing out loud about that before he’s completed the process of repatriating Venezuela’s seizable-assets abroad? Before all that gold is safely back in Caracas? Before he’s sold off CITGO and PDVSA’s other foreign-assets?

That’s like calling your bank to tell them you have no intention of paying your car loan but then leaving the car in your driveway, windows open, key in the ignition, just waiting for the repo-man to come by.

It really doesn’t make sense to me.