Press Memorandum: Venezuela's Chavez: "Oil is a Geopolitical Weapon"

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            <P align=left><FONT face=Verdana size=2><FONT color=#ffffff>1250
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            <P align=center><FONT face=Verdana color=#ffffff size=6>Council On
            Hemispheric Affairs</FONT></P></TD></TR>
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            <P align=left><I><FONT face=Verdana
            Monitoring Political, Economic and Diplomatic Issues Affecting the
            Western Hemisphere</FONT></I></P></TD></TR>
          <TD width="50%" height=30><I><FONT color=#ffffff size=2>Memorandum
            to the Press 05.35</FONT></I></TD>
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            <P align=right><FONT color=#ffffff size=2><I>Word Count:2000
      <P align=left>&nbsp;</P>
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            <P align=center><font face="Verdana" size="5" color="#FFFFFF">
			Venezuela's Chavez: <br>
			&quot;Oil is a Geopolitical Weapon&quot;</font></P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
      <P align=right><I><FONT size=2>&nbsp;Analysis prepared by Nikolas Kozloff,
      COHA&nbsp; Senior Research Fellow<BR>Monday, 28th March 2005</FONT></I></P>
        <P align=left><B><I>U.S. – Venezuela bad blood.</I></B></P>
        <P align=left><B><I>More bark than bite as Chavez holds out his hand to
        <P align=left><B><I>Advent of petro-diplomacy hits South America.</I></B></P>
        <P align=left><B><I>Venezuela and U.S. fated to remain connected.<br>

      <P align=justify><FONT face=Arial>Over the past few weeks there have been
		some signs that Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez has backed down from
		his earlier confrontational posture towards Washington. According to the
		Venezuelan foreign minister, Chavez has no intention of reducing oil
		exports to the United States. The economic importance of oil in terms of
		Venezuelan-U.S. relations cannot be overstated. Venezuela is the fifth
		largest oil exporter in the world and the fourth largest supplier of oil
		to the United States after Canada, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia. Last year,
		Venezuela’s state owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa)
		accounted for 11.8% (1.52-million barrels a day) of U.S. imports. </FONT></P>
      <P align=right><FONT face=Arial><I><B>
		<a href="";>full

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