Friday, September 12, 2008

Chavez threatens to halt US oil supply

Press TV reports:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has threatened to cut off oil export to the US in case of any 'aggression' against his country.

"If there is any aggression towards Venezuela" from Washington, "there would be no oil for the people of the United States," said Chavez as quoted by Reuters.

The threat came after Chavez accused a group of current and former military officers of trying to assassinate him with tacit backing from his political opponents and the United States.

The Venezuelan President urged the White House not to “think of launching a coup or some madness such as this. I warn you, I am not the Hugo Chavez of 2002," he said, referring to a failed coup attempt against him in April of that year.

Tensions between the two countries grew this week after Russia deployed two of its strategic bombers to the country. The measure came in response to Washington's sending its warships to the Black sea in order to deliver what it calls humanitarian aid to Georgians after the Caucasus crisis.

"I have no doubt at all that the United States is behind plans to bomb this palace," Chavez said, warning that "difficult times" lied ahead for Venezuela.

US officials have repeatedly denied Chavez's accusations that Washington has backed attempts to overthrow him.

Venezuela also expelled the US ambassador to Caracas, Patrick Duddy, granting him 72 hours to leave the country.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has also declared the US ambassador to La Paz 'persona non grata', accusing the envoy of provoking separatism.

Morales last week charged that rebel governors in the east were mounting a "civil coup" against the government after two weeks of road blocks and other anti- government protests in the relatively prosperous states of Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca and Tarija.

Chavez also vowed that his country would take a military action if Morales were overthrown or killed.