Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned on late Friday that he could cut off oil supplies to the United States, if Washington continues to destabilize his government.
"The U.S. government must know that if it crosses the line it won't be getting Venezuelan oil," Chavez said at a meeting of pensioners in Caracas.
"I have to say that I've begun taking steps on the matter, but I won't tell you what they are," he said.
As the only OPEC member in Latin America, Venezuela currently produces about 3.2 million barrels of oil per day, 1.5 million of which go to the United States.
His warning was apparently in response to remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who on Thursday called Chavez a "challenge to democracy" and said Venezuela's close ties with Cuba were "a particular danger in the region."
In response, Chavez called Rice's remarks a "threat," and accused the leaders of the U.S. and Britain of trying to prevent him from being re-elected in the coming December elections.
Chavez won a six-year presidency in 2000. He vowed to win again this time, which would keep him in office till 2013.