Chavez Threatens Oil Cutoff

Warns US against trying to sabotage vote
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2007 7:46 AM CST
People walk by a mural of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Friday, Nov. 30, 2007. Venezuelans will vote Sunday in a referendum on changes to their constitution that would extend presidential...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hugo Chavez has threatened to cut off oil to the US if it tries to sabotage tomorrow's referendum, which will allow the Venezuelan president to run for re-election indefinitely, Reuters reports. He's sent the army to protect oil fields in case violence follows the vote to change the constitution and expand his powers. The US gets 12% of its oil from Venezuela and Chavez has often threatened to cut off sales.

The president has been amping up the anti-American rhetoric in advance of what is expected to be a close vote, declaring to hundreds of thousands of cheering supporters: "Whoever votes 'Yes' is voting for Chavez, and whoever votes 'No' is voting for George W. Bush."  Some Venezuelans fear that either Chavez or the opposition might refuse to accept the result of the referendum.