The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes has awarded the Vestey Group, a British livestock organization, $100 million, resulting from a 2005 nationalization of its property as reported on this facebook post.
Former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez ordered the seizure of Vesey’s cattle ranch’s as a way of repopulating desolate regions of the country. Eleven years later, Vestey’s complaint was heard before an intentional arbitration panel, and found in their favor, according to a Linked In news report. Counsel for the Venezuelan government, Diego Brian Gosis, stated the government is weighing its options, and will appeal the award.
United Kingdom-based Vestey Group is an international food processing and packaging organization that has operated in Venezuela since the early 1900’s. It has cattle ranch operations worldwide and has engaged in government land rights disputes before.
With the land seizure, Chávez distributed land parcels to farmers, hoping they would cultivate the land, harvesting arable fruits, and vegetables. His grand vision was a failure, as persistent flooding in the lowland regions prevented crops from being harvested. Critics like Jose Manuel, at the time of the Chávez plan, pointed out the parcels were in a swampland, and only good for cattle grazing fields. Pending an appeal, the cattle ranch land remains in possession of the Venezuelan government.