Chavez jokes about missiles

2011-06-01 08:34
Caracas - President Hugo Chavez mocked US concerns about Venezuela's ties with Iran on Tuesday, joking that while his adversaries worry about Iranian-made missiles lining his country's coast his government is actually erecting windmills there.

The socialist leader at first said missiles could be launched at Washington and other US cities, then held up a photograph of windmills along the South American country's coast, saying "here they are".

"They are pointing directly at Washington," Chavez joked during a meeting with top government officials that was broadcast on state television.

Chavez - an outspoken critic of Washington's foreign policy - has previously poked fun at fears over Venezuela's increasingly close relationship with Iran, saying that in a joint bicycle factory the two countries are building the "atomic bicycle".

Chavez also condemned US sanctions against Venezuela's state oil company for doing business with Iran.

President Barack Obama's administration slapped sanctions on PDVSA and six other companies from other countries for doing business with Iran that helps fund its nuclear programme. The State Department said PDVSA delivered at least two cargoes of refined petroleum products worth about $50m to Iran between December and March.

Venezuela's close ties with Iran have raised concerns among officials in Washington, who believe Iran is working on a nuclear weapons program.

Chavez has staunchly defended Iran's nuclear energy programme, saying it is for peaceful uses only.

Under the sanctions announced last week, Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, will be barred from any US government contracts, US import-export financing, and export licenses for sensitive technology. But PDVSA will not be banned from selling oil to the United States or dealing with its US subsidiaries.

Chavez said his government is preparing contingency plans to confront the possibility of more severe sanctions.

He did not provide any details of the contingency plans, but Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez has hinted that PDVSA could seek to accelerate initiatives aimed at diversifying PDVSA's clientele, exporting more crude to China and other countries to reduce Venezuela's dependence on the United States.

Venezuela is one of the United States' main suppliers of petroleum.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    hugo chavez  |  venezuela  |  iran  |  us publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Ireland centre Payne out of RWC
Jones: Japan can be 'team of the tournament'
Tuilagi gets punishment cut
As it happened: New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.