Chavez renews threat to cut oil to US

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has renewed a threat to halt oil supplies to the United States if Washington hurts the Latin American country.

    The Venezuelan leader accuses the US of trying to kill him

    Relations between Washington and Venezuela - which exports the bulk of its oil to the US - have been badly strained since Chavez last month accused Washington of plotting to have him assassinated.

    "If there is any aggression, there will be no oil," Chavez, who is in New Delhi on a four-day visit, was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying on Friday.

    "We want to supply oil to the US. We're not going to avoid this supply of oil unless US government gets a little bit crazy and tries to hurt us," he said after a ceremonial welcome at the Indian president's palace.

    The US State Department has dismissed Chavez's accusations that Washington is seeking to have him killed as "ridiculous and untrue".

    Venezuela is the world's fifth-biggest oil exporter and is among the largest providers to the US.

    Deeply troubling

    Chavez, who is on a trip to India where energy will top the agenda, started alleging Washington was planning his death after the US criticised some of his government's actions as "deeply troubling".

     

    Chavez said the oil price increase
    had nothing to do with Opec

    Earlier this month, Chavez told a news conference in Uruguay that the US would not receive a drop of oil if he were to be killed.

    Asked whether the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), of which Venezuela is a member, will increase output to cool near-record prices, Chavez said on Friday that the cartel was "producing enough".

    "[The] increasing price of oil has nothing to do with Opec. It is the structure of the market," he said, adding Opec was evaluating the situation.

    Chavez has signed oil deals with various countries including China since last year and is due to approve an energy agreement intended to enhance cooperation with India during his visit.

    Energy-hungry India, which imports nearly 70% of its fuel needs, has been scouring the world for new supplies to keep its fast-growing economy on track.

    SOURCE: AFP


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