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Aug. 21, 2006
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Chavez Redirects Venezuelan Oil
// From the United States to China
The Venezuelan presidential election campaign is taking on more and more extreme forms as the December election date nears. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has activated the anti-American component in his effort to remain in office. He has announced the exposure of four American spies, labeled his opposition lackey's of Washington, and announced the plans for his visit to Beijing, which begins on Tuesday and should result in the diversion of most of Venezuelan oil from the United States to China.
Chavez devoted much of a speech in his native province of Barinas in western Venezuela on Friday night. He commented on the recent appointment of Jack Patrick Meikher, a 32-year intelligence veteran, head of the Cuba and Venezuela section of the National Security Service, which unites all American intelligence. The gringos working in intelligence are just fools, Chavez said. I caught four of their spies four and returned them to the Americans. We recently caught a very beautiful woman in Valencia taking photographs. They take photographs because they are fools. Those statements, made with no further explanation, caused wonder at the U.S. embassy in Caracas. Official embassy representative Brian Penn said that an office worker in the military section of the embassy had her purse stolen in Valencia about a year ago and that she had had a video camera in it. The employee was not arrested or accused of espionage, however. I have no idea what he is talking about, Penn said of Chavez's speech. Other observers note that a U.S. embassy attach in Caracas was accused of espionage in February of this year and forced to leave the country. A Venezuelan diplomat was expelled from the U.S. in response.

Chavez also expressed satisfaction that the U.S. has compared Venezuela to Cuba. He said that it showed that the empire, i.e., the U.S., desires to change the regime in Venezuela as well. He said that the Americans would make accusations of fraud or provoke unrest after the December 3 elections, which Chavez is universally expected to win. He called on Venezuelans to be prepared in case the American army launches an invasion. Chavez described his opponents as Washington's lackeys and said that there are two candidates in these elections, Hugo Chavez and George Bush. He added the opposition wanted Venezuela to be a colony of the U.S. again.

The opposition has been critical of Chavez's fixation on the U.S. The single opposition candidate, Manuel Rosales stated that we don't want to be dependent on the empire or on the bearded one, a reference to Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and criticized Chavez for developing relations with opponents of the U.S. such as Iran, Cuba and Belarus.

Now, however, Venezuela's main partner may become China. Chavez has announced that he will sign an agreement on building supertankers in China and China aid to build them in Venezuela. Then most of the flow of Venezuelan oil will be shifted away from the U.S. toward Asia, especially China. Experts say that Chavez may demand that China support his bid to make Venezuela a permanent member of the UN Security Council in return for its oil.
www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of Aug. 21, 2006

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