Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is threatening to stop selling oil to European countries if they persist with plans to clampdown on illegal immigrants. European lawmakers this week ruled illegal immigrants can be detained for up to 18 months and face a re-entry ban of five years.
At an event celebrating the supply of his country’s oil to South America the socialist ally of Cuba also warned he may move against foreign investors in the OPEC member nation.
“Venezuelan oil will not go to the countries that apply this shameful directive,” said Chavez. “I’ll say it now, Venezuelan oil will not go. There will be no agreement with these countries.”
Millions of Latin Americans live in Europe, many from poor Andean countries and war weary Columbia.
Oil rich Venezuela sends few immigrants to Europe but Chavez’s tough talk supports allies such as Bolivia and Ecuador who have many thousands of citizens living in Spain.
The new European ruling has been condemned by human rights groups and other South American countries.