US prepares invasion of Venezuela: Venezuelan ambassador
Xinhuanet | January 31, 2005
The United States is preparing a future invasion of Venezuela to control the petroleum of the South American country as it did in Iraq, said Venezuela's acting ambassador to Paraguay, Elmer Nino.
Nino, cited Thursday by local Paraguayan daily ABC Color, said the present diplomatic crisis between Venezuela and Colombia was created by the United States as part of its future plans for an invasion.
The Venezuelan oil reserves have a strategic value as they will last 350 years at the present exploitation level, the diplomat was quoted as saying.
Venezuela is Latin America's second largest oil producer behind Mexico and the principal oil exporter in the region.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez froze his country's diplomatic and commercial ties with Colombia in early January to protest whathe called Colombia's "kidnapping" of a rebel leader in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, which he considered as a violation of Venezuelan national sovereignty.
The government of Colombia rejected Chavez's demand to make apologies to end the dispute.
With respect to Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte's position on the Caracas-Bogota crisis, the ambassador said it has been neutral.