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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 August, 2005, 22:48 GMT 23:48 UK
Chavez says US drug agents spying
Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez
Mr Chavez said he is breaking all ties with the US drugs agency
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused the US Drug Enforcement Administration of using its agents to spy on the South American country.

Mr Chavez said his country would sever its ties with the DEA and no longer collaborate with the US.

Last month Venezuelan prosecutors opened an investigation into the activities of DEA.

Mr Chavez said the country would continue to work with other international groups.

"The DEA was using the fight against drug trafficking as a mask, to support drug trafficking, to carry out intelligence in Venezuela against the government," Mr Chavez said.

"Under those circumstances we have decided to make a clean break with those accords," he added.

President Chavez also criticised the US policy on drugs for concentrating on the supply rather than the demand of drugs.

Last week US Ambassador William Brownfield had said the US hoped to continue collaborative anti-drug efforts in the country.

He warned that, without them, "there is only one group that wins, and that group is the drug traffickers".

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