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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
            Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 1C, Washington, D.C. 20036 <BR>Phone:
            202-223-4975 Fax: 202-223-4979 <BR>Email: </FONT><SPAN
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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
            size=2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
            Monitoring Political, Economic and Diplomatic Issues Affecting the
            Western Hemisphere</FONT></I></P></TD></TR>
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          <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
            </I></FONT></P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
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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>
      <UL>
        <LI>
        <P align=left><B><I>U.S. ? Venezuela bad blood.</I></B></P>
                <LI>
        <P align=left><B><I>More bark than bite as Chavez holds out his hand to
                Washington.</I></B></P>
                <LI>
        <P align=left><B><I>Advent of petro-diplomacy hits South America.</I></B></P>
                <LI>
        <P align=left><B><I>Venezuela and U.S. fated to remain connected.<br>
&nbsp;<BR>&nbsp;</I></B></P></UL>
      <HR>

      <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>
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