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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 04:46 GMT 05:46 UK
Chavez offers LatAm energy pact
Hugo Chavez - 18/07/2007
Mr Chavez used a speech in Argentina to attack the US
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has pledged to guarantee the energy needs of his allies in Latin America.

Speaking in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, he announced the signing of what he called an "energy security treaty" with Argentina.

Mr Chavez said he intended to sign similar treaties with Uruguay, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Venezuela regularly uses its large oil and gas reserves as a tool to help broker deals with other countries.

The deal with Buenos Aires came at a good time for Argentina - which is currently suffering a severe winter and fuel shortages.

'Dracula' jibe

Mr Chavez used a speech at the end of his trip to Argentina to launch a verbal attack on Washington.

"The United States has 5% of the world's population, but it consumes more than 20% of the energy used in the planet," he said.

He described the US as having an "insatiable voracity", before comparing the country to Count Dracula - sucking more than its fair share of fuel from the world's reserves.

"The US has a very serious problem. Its oil reserves won't last for many more years. It has used up its own reserves, and it has used up the reserves of half the world."

Mr Chavez said the country's insatiable appetite for oil had led it many times to impose its will on Latin America at the point of a gun.

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