Sunday, October 23, 2005

Chavez: Gas Costs Will Rise If U.S. Attacks Venezuela

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 Chavez: Gas Costs Will Rise If U.S. Attacks Venezuela
PARIS -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday his government is preparing for a possible U.S. invasion and warned that such "aggression" would send gasoline prices in the U.S. soaring higher.
The U.S. government said it is not planning any such thing.
Chavez, a vocal critic of "imperialism" and the Bush administration, said he was not against the American people -- just the current government.
"We are sure that it will be very difficult for the United States to attack Venezuela," Chavez said. He said his country has eight oil refineries and 14,000 gasoline stations in the United States.
"If the United States tried to attack Venezuela by a direct invasion, forget the oil," he said during a two-hour news conference beamed live to Venezuela. "Everyday, we send 1.5 million barrels to the United States."
The barrel price of crude oil could hit $150 after a U.S. attack, Chavez said. New York light sweet crude oil trades around $60 a barrel.
"That's why Pat Robertson, the spiritual adviser of Mr. Bush, is calling for my assassination -- that would be much cheaper than an invasion," Chavez said.
Robertson, the U.S. religious broadcaster, said in August that Chavez should be killed, then later apologized.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Chavez's suspicions were unfounded.


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