Venezuela will continue oil exports to US: Chavez

Lima, Sep 1 (EFE) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that Caracas will continue exporting oil to the United States because it is in the interest of his country.

Chavez said in a statement published in the Lima daily El Comercio that “many people don’t know” that Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA, through its Citgo subsidiary, has seven large refineries and more than 10,000 service stations on US soil.

“Venezuela can’t take a decision against ourselves. We send the oil to our refineries and to our distribution systems in the US,” he said.

The leftist president gave as an example the trade ties between Washington and Moscow during the Cold War despite their ideological differences.

“It has almost always been that way. The Soviet Union and the US at the height of the Cold War traded, and in (amounts of) billions of dollars. Communist China and the capitalist United States also. China has US Treasury bills, I believe for $600 billion, if I remember correctly,” he said.

The president also considered “a joke” the comment made by Peruvian President Alan Garcia, who during the last Unasur summit said that Chavez feared a pact that would allow the US Armed Forces access to bases in neighbouring Colombia even as Venezuela is a top supplier of crude to the US.

“The truth is, aside from President Garcia’s joke, that for the first time Venezuela has diversified its market,” he said, adding that his country also donates heating oil to residents and institutions in more than 20 cities of the US.

“To poor neighbourhoods, orphanages, old-people’s homes, schools, very poor neighbourhoods, above all to the black population,” he said.