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Chavez: No oil if U.S. 'gets a little bit crazy'

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reportedly has warned that his nation, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, would cut off oil supplies to the United States if Washington tries to "hurt" his country.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez inspects an honour guard during his ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace in New Delhi
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez inspects an honor guard during his ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace in New Delhi, India, on Friday.B Mathur / Reuters
/ Source: The Associated Press

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned Friday that his nation, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, would cut off oil supplies to the United States if Washington tries to "hurt" his country, news reports said.

"We want to supply oil to the United States. We are not going to avoid supplying of oil unless the U.S. government gets a little bit crazy and tries to hurt us," he told reporters during a visit to India, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

"If there is any aggression, there will be no oil," Chavez said.

Later, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez Araque took his government's case against the United States to the Organization of American States, indirectly accusing Washington of repeatedly violating Venezuelan sovereignty.

Without mentioning the United States by name, Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez Araque said his government's intelligence agencies have evidence suggesting an attempt to "liquidate physically" Chavez.

The U.S. State Department called the allegations ridiculous.

Rodriguez also alluded to an unnamed "stimulus" behind a failed military coup attempt against Chavez in April 2002. Chavez has charged repeatedly that the plot was a product of American imperialism.

The U.S. State Department has rejected the allegation, and a department inspector general investigation found no evidence of U.S. wrongdoing.

Relations between the United States and Venezuela have deteriorated steadily since Chavez took office in February 1999.

Chavez has accused the United States repeatedly of efforts to destabilize his government. For its part, the Bush administration is uneasy about Chavez's intimate ties with Castro and his perceived efforts to silence the Venezuelan media and his political opponents.