The United States indicated on Friday that it would accept Venezuela's assistance for the hurricane-ravaged Gulf region although the two countries have been at odds for years.
"We're willing to accept all offers of help and all offers of assistance are welcome," Fred Jones, spokesman for the White House 's National Security Council, said of Venezuela's aid offer for the hurricane-devastated region in the United States.
Venezuela has offered to send fuel and food to the southern US states reeling in the storm's aftermath and Citgo, the US subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela ( PDVSA), offered 1 million dollars for the rescue efforts.
Venezuela announced on Sunday assistance plan for poor people in the United States. In a Sunday radio and television program, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that there are many poor people in the United States, and every year a large number of them die of cold during the winter.
That is why "we're going to offer fuel for heating that is 40 percent cheaper" than market prices, said Chavez, adding that the plan would benefit 7 million to 8 million poor people in the United States.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez Araque said Monday that Venezuela hopes to form relations of understanding and respect with the United States.
Relations between the two countries have been deteriorating over recent years, and Caracas accused Washington of supporting an abortive coup to overthrow Chavez in April 2002.
Chavez also accused Washington of planning to assassinate him, which the US government has denied.