Washington: The United States on Monday ruled
out military action against Venezuela after Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez threatened to cut off oil supplies to
the US if it backed a Colombian attack.
"As we have stated in the past, the United States has no
intention of engaging in military action against Venezuela,"
Virginia Staab, a State Department spokeswoman, said to a news agency.
"The United States has long enjoyed a mutually beneficial
energy relationship with Venezuela, and we wish to see that
relationship continue," she said.
Importing 1.4 million barrels of oil a day, the United
States is the main oil consumer of Venezuela, a member of the
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and South
America's largest oil producer and exporter.
Chavez, Venezuela's anti-American leftist president, said
on Sunday he had intelligence that "the possibility of an
armed aggression against Venezuelan territory from Colombia"
was higher than it has been "in 100 years."
If Colombia were to launch an attack "promoted by the
Yankee empire, we would suspend oil deliveries to the United
States, even if everybody over here has to eat stones," he
Chavez broke off diplomatic relations with Bogota
Thursday in response to charges by Colombian President Alvaro
Uribe that 1,500 Colombian guerrillas had set up camp inside
Venezuela and were launching attacks from its territory.
First Published: Monday, July 26, 2010, 23:34