Venezuela to shun World Bank arbitration decisions 

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his government will ignore future decisions by a World Bank-affiliated arbitration body.

Venezuela formally began its withdrawal from the Washington-based International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes this week.

Chavez says any financial disagreements with foreign companies operating in Venezuela should be settled with local authorities and within the country's judicial system.

The arbitration body's website lists 18 pending cases against Venezuela. Among them are multimillion-dollar claims by the Houston-based oil company ConocoPhillips Co., U.S. glass manufacturer Owens-Illinois Inc. and Canadian mining company Crystallex International Corp.

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