Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias is warning the United States government that he will cut oil supplies if the Bush 2 administration makes any further move against his government by trying to invade Venezuela or to impose a trade blockade. "If Mr. Bush is possessed with the madness of trying to blockade Venezuela ... or worse, for the Americans to attempt to invade Venezuela in response to the desperate whining of his lackeys ... not a drop of petroleum with come to them from Venezuela."
Chavez accuses the Bush's administration of actively backing opposition attempts to get him out of the Presidency by all and any illegal means but Washington D.C. has laughed-off the accusations as "not serious" and denies that it is supporting efforts to dislodge him from office. However, Chavez Frias says that major US oil companies are "manipulating Bush like a puppet" and emphasizes that elements in the United States want to get their hands on PDVSA in the same way as has already been done by major US multinationals in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The President warns the Bush administration that if the United States even attempts to take action against Venezuelan oil refineries and/or subsidiaries based in the United States ... for example Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) wholly-owned CITGO ... he will immediately move to confiscate US assets in Venezuela. "There are plenty of American installations here," he said addressing supporters who attended a massive "Respect for Venezuela" rally in downtown Caracas. The parade had been attacked at several places along its route from Parque del Este to the Botanical Gardens by radical opposition elements who threw rocks, broken bottles and molotov cocktails at demonstrators and National Guard (GN) soldiers who engaged in street-by-street battles to preserve law and order.
Late Sunday, the National Elections Council (CNE) announced that it was postponing a preliminary announcement on the number of verified signatures from a November 28-December 1 campaign to petition a revocatory referendum against President Chavez Frias amid fears that the announcement might spark more violence from an opposition that, to all appearances, has not been able to must enough signatures to qualify to launch a referendum under the explicit terms and conditions laid out in the 1999 Constitution.
President Chavez Frias has meanwhile told reporters that he will do nothing to impede a revocatory referendum should the CNE say enough signatures have been collected; but he does not believe they have been able to verify as many as the 2.4 million needed.
Meanwhile, the CNE has announced a further opportunity for the public to witness the democratic process with the setting up of more than 1,000 "repair locales" where citizens can inspect the petition signatures they lodged last November-December and, where necessary, to verify or reject their inclusion. Government loyalists claim that thousands of forgeries exist and that the names of dead, foreigners, children and teenagers have been falsified against all electoral rules.