Saturday, February 20, 2010
Venezuela raps US, UK over oil rows in S Atlantic
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has slammed the US and the UK for their 'oil hunger' that has sparked tensions over drilling plans near the Falklands or Las Malvinas.
"The English are desperate, the Yankees are desperate and here we have the biggest petroleum reserves in the world," Reuters quoted Chavez as speaking on a TV program on Friday about the latest rows between the UK and Argentina over Britain's plans to explore oil in the southern hemisphere.
"Give the Malvinas back to the Argentine people. Enough already with the empire," Chavez added, pledging support for Argentina's claim on the islands' energy reservoirs and sovereignty.
"When will England stop breaking international law? Return the Malvinas to Argentina," he went on to say, negating British Premier Gordon Brown's abiding by the "international law" comments on the Falklands/ Las Malvinas.
Earlier this week, Argentinean government formally objected to British-led drilling plans near the islands that lie around 500 kilometers off the coast of Argentina and almost 13,000 kilometers away from the UK.
Britain, however, deems the southern Atlantic archipelago as part of its sovereign territories, with Prime Minister Brown reportedly hinting at a possible confrontation in the event of a clash.
"We have made all the preparations that are necessary to make sure that the Falkland Islanders are properly protected," Brown was quoted by Reuters as telling a local radio Thursday, following reports of the deployment of extra warships in the area.
Britain won a war with Argentina over the islands in 1982 after the Argentines made an attempt to reclaim their South Atlantic Islands which the UK had seized in the 19th century.