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Chavez says Clinton threatens Venezuela over ties with Iran

RIA Novosti

07:38 14/12/2009 MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said a recent statement by the U.S. secretary of state on ties with Iran was "a clear threat" against his country and Bolivia, the EFE news agency said on Monday.

Hillary Clinton said on Monday that "if people want to flirt with Iran, they should take a look at what the consequences might well be for them." She expressed hope that they would "think twice" before doing so.

"Clinton's statements are, above all a threat to Bolivia and Venezuela, as well as the whole Bolivarian Alliance," the agency quoted the Venezuelan leader as saying at a summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA).

ALBA, or the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, was founded by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez in 2005 and now comprises nine members - Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda.

"They are a direct evidence of the Imperialistic threat, which seeks to halt the development of progressive forces... Facing this threat, we agreed... to strengthen Alba and to activate [cooperation] in all directions: economic, political and social," the Venezuelan leader went on.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose country is suspected of developing a nuclear program aimed at the production of an atomic weapon, has visited a number of Latin American states in late November, including Bolivia and Venezuela.

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