Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Chavez makes US oil export threat

Oil exports to the US could stop amid growing tensions between the two countries, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said.

He described recent US government actions as "aggressive" in a speech at a youth festival in Caracas.

As a result, Venezuelan oil "instead of going to the United States, could go elsewhere," he said.
Venezuela exports about 1.3 million barrels a day to the US and is the world's fifth largest oil producer.

Tensions between the two countries have escalated since President Chavez accused the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of spying on his government.

Washington denies the charge and has accused Caracas of failing to co-operate in the fight against drug-trafficking.

On Friday the Venezuelan government withdrew diplomatic immunity from DEA agents working in the country in response to a US decision to revoke the visas of six Venezuelan officials based in Washington.

Venezuela is an important transport route for cocaine from neighbouring Colombia, which produces 80% of the world's supply.

Original Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4153318.stm

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