Venezuela 'reliable oil supplier,' US Sec. of State says

US Sec. of State Colin Powell said during a visit to Brazil earlier this month "that despite the rhetoric of Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez, Venezuela is a reliable oil supplier and the [US President George W.] Bush administration has not ruled out the possibility of improving bilateral relations."Venezuela's status as the world's fifth largest oil producer, and the fact that it supplies 1.5 million b/d of oil to the US—about 15% of total oil imports—are key factors seen by analysts as influencing relations between Washington, DC, and Caracas.Also, Chávez's mandate was strengthened when 59% of voters expressed their support for him in the Aug. 15 p...

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