Venezuela Threatens to Cut off Oil Exports to US
February 21th, 2006
by Elif Ozdemir
On Sunday, Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, threatened Condoleezza Rice. Last Friday, he also made treats to discontinue exporting crude oil to America if they will still try to undermine his administration.
This is his response to previous statements made by Condoleza Rice that relationship of Venezuela with Cuba are perilous to the democratic system in Latin nations. Moreover, the US State Department accuses Chavez of utilizing Venezuela’s abundant oil assets to interfere with the dealings of adjacent nations. They also criticized him of enhancing relationships with America’s enemies, for instance, Iran and Cuba.
Furthermore, Chavez, a populist leader and a former military officer, accused the Americans of attempting to produce anarchy in his bid for re-election. In 2002, he expressed that US is maneuvering a coup that has overthrown him for a short time.
He stresses that the Americans will never get their oil. He also adds that US authorities would be unsuccessful in trying to make other countries go against their nation.
He asserted that Venezuela will not suffer if they can’t supply their oil to America because he has already talked to other oil consumers, which is his contingency plan. In 2005, Chavez has roamed around the globe to look for new allies against the US and new countries to sell oil with. He signed contracts with countries exploring new oil sources to power their industries, like China, France, and India. He also purchased military equipment, such as Russia’s military helicopters and rifles, Brazil’s military aircraft and China’s radar equipment.
Venezuela has placed fifth in the record of biggest oil exporters globally. Moreover, this country is an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member. It produces three million containers of oil per day, and sells 75% of its oil manufacture abroad. It distributes over a million containers of oil per day or supplies 13 percent of oil imports daily to America.
Therefore, America is dependent on Venezuelan oil. US is in dire need of alternative refined oil product and crude oil suppliers, like Venezuela, for the reason of uncertain oil supply situation in Middle Eastern nations. Richard Lugar of American Senate thinks that a reduction in importation of Venezuelan oil can affect the US economy, as he asked a government office to conduct a study on this matter.
Previously this month, Chavez banished a US naval attache because the American was allegedly spying on Venezuelan government. As a response, the US State Department expelled a diplomat from Venezuela.
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