Venezuelan Prez Threatens to Cut Off US Oil

If Exxon wins court action seeking assets, Chavez vows revenge
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2008 3:00 AM CST
Venezuela's Oil Minister and President of the state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, Rafael Ramirez speaks to the PDVSA workers in Caracas, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007. Ramirez has argued...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is threatening to cut off US oil supplies if Exxon Mobil wins a court ruling to seize billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets, AP reports. The Texas-based oil giant has challenged Venezuela’s efforts to nationalize a multi-billion-dollar oil project, and the fiery leader promised an "economic war" if a decision goes against his nation. A British court has already frozen some $12 billion in assets.

“Take note, Mr. Bush, Mr. Danger,” Chavez warned. If a "freeze  harms us, we're going to harm you." He accused Washington of backing Exxon, and blasted both as part of corporate “worldwide mafias.” Chavez, who has repeatedly threatened to end oil sales to the US—Venezuela's biggest customer—predicted an embargo could boost oil prices to $200 a barrel.