Why the U.S. Hates Venezuela's Chavez

Venezuela, the world's fifth largest oil exporting country, holds the largest conventional oil reserves outside the Middle East.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the state oil company plans to build three new oil refineries in coming years, and that his government would be willing to discuss establishing a new OPEC price band for world oil prices.

Two new refineries will have a capacity to run 50,000 barrels a day each, and a third would process as much as 400,000 barrels a day, Chavez said late Thursday during a televised speech.

If someone doesn't like Venezuela's laws, they "can go and look for oil elsewhere," Chavez said.

Venezuela has been handing tax claims to transnational oil companies operating in the country. The government says they are underpaying taxes.

Chavez's government has been seeking to exert greater control over the industry, saying that in the past poor Venezuelans didn't see enough benefit from oil revenues.

The government has increased tax rates and is now signing joint-venture agreements to take majority stakes in oil fields that foreign firms until now have operated independently.

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