BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Venezuela has a "strong oil card" to play on the world geopolitical stage and against the United States, said President Hugo Chavez in an interview published on Sunday.
"It is a card we will use in a tough game against the toughest rival in the world -- the United States. But our actions will be governed by transparency and respect," Chavez told the Argentine daily Clarin.
He said the card will be even more powerful if other Latin American countries join it in a regional economic alliance.
At the first meeting of the South American Community of Nationsin Brasilia last week, Venezuelan state-run petroleum firm PDVSA struck a deal with its Brazilian counterpart Petrobras on jointly building an oil refinery with a total investment of 2.5 billion US dollars.
The companies also agreed to extend their cooperation in the energy sector.
Chavez believed that "the energy agreements have an intrinsic might" and "will influence the region's economic recovery."
"The entire world has the smell of oil. We are facing an energycrisis to which we have to pay utmost attention: we've reached thetop of the world petroleum production and the price is rising," he cautioned.
Venezuela is the fifth largest oil exporter in the world and a key crude supplier to the United States, providing the latter with1.5 million barrels of crude per day. Enditem