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Venezuelan president warns US over possible oil export freeze
www.chinaview.cn 2004-03-08 10:35:43

    CARACAS, March 7 (Xinhuanet) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned the United States on Sunday that oil exports would be frozen if Washington continues to support anti-government protests.

    Although the United States has denied Chavez's repeated accusation of trying to overthrow him, the Venezuelan president has accused US President George W. Bush of financing opponents seeking a recall referendum on his presidency.

    In a weekly TV and radio show, Chavez said his country "has enough allies on this continent to start a 100-year war."

    He also accused Washington of ousting former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and warned Bush not to try the same with himself.

    "US citizens could forget about ever getting Venezuelan oil" ifthe United States ever tried to invade the South American country,Chavez stressed.

    Venezuela, the world's No. 5 oil exporter, is a leading supplier of oil to the US market, accounting for 15 percent of US oil imports.

    On Saturday, several hundred thousand Venezuelans went to the streets in Caracas to protest against the National Electoral Council's decision last week that an opposition petition for the recall vote lacked enough valid signatures. The opposition said itcollected 3.4 million signatures, but the electoral council said only 1.8 million signatures were valid, short of the 2.4 million required for a poll.

    During his five-hour speech, the president said he regretted the deaths of at least eight people in recent street protests. On Sunday he promised the government would investigate the deaths andinjuries in last week's violence. Enditem

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