19 May 2008BloombergCARACAS, — Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez said last week that crude oil would rise to “$400 or $500” per
barrel in the event of a U.S. attack on his country, the biggest
petroleum exporter in the Americas.
The reactivation of the U.S. Fourth Fleet in the Caribbean on July 1,
as well as what he said is a possible U.S. base on the Guajira
Peninsula, which is shared by and Colombia, are both
considered to be threats, Chavez said in a speech broadcast last night
from the military academy.
Chavez, who has long criticized the U.S. role in Latin America and
warned that oil could rise to $200 a barrel in the case of an attack
on Venezuela or , said that given recent price increases in the
crude market, his previous estimate was too low.
“Now, we’re at $120 and it’s continuing up,” he said. “If there’s a
war against Venezuela, with the oil in this soil, it won’t depart from
the Venezuelans, it won’t go to anyone.”
The country is buying light, fast tanks and training citizens to
defend the country against possible threats, he said.
In July, Chavez plans to meet with President Moscow
to discuss more arms purchases, which may include long- and short-
range anti-aircraft defense systems.