Communist World News

Mixed Support For Argentina to Nationalize Energy Company

In Latin America on April 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm

HAVANA, CUBA — Cuba on Friday expressed support to Argentina for its decision to expropriate a majority share of Spanish-owned oil company Repsol YPF, saying it is lawful.

Argentina has the “right to exercise permanent sovereignty over all its natural resources,” the Cuban Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the country’s official daily Granma.

On Monday, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez announced a bill, under whichArgentina would expropriate 51 percent of YPF stakes.

The brief Cuban statement accused Repsol of purchasing its controlling interest in YPF for less than its value.

The Spanish company is a key partner of Cuba’s in its efforts to explore for oil off its northern coast in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company is currently drilling some 18 miles offshore in what has been billed as the start of exploration in a vast area thought to harbor billions of barrels of oil.

Argentina’s decision also won support of Venezuela and Nicaragua, among other LatinAmerican nations.

But it has not only angered Spain but also Mexico, which has shares in Repsol throughits state-owned oil company Pemex.

Mark Toner said the United States was very concerned about Argentina’s bid to seize the company, controlled by Spanish energy group Repsol, and had raised its concerns with the highest levels of the Argentine government.

“Frankly, the more we look at this we view it as a negative development,” Toner told a news briefing.

– Viktor

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