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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela?

It could happen:

The United States is considering punishing Venezuela with sanctions for breaking off work with U.S. anti-drug agents in the world's top cocaine-exporting region, the State Department said on Monday.

In a new blow to fraying ties between the United States and a key oil supplier, President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday he had suspended cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration because it was unnecessary and accused the U.S. agency of spying on his government.

"The fears are baseless," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told reporters. "I think it's pretty clear to us that the motivation for this is not the accusation itself ... The motivation is an effort to detract from the government's increasingly deficient record of cooperation."

Chavez said Venezuela would continue to work with international organizations to combat drug trafficking.

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