President Hugo Chavez Sundaywarned he would halt oil supplies to the United States if it continued to attack Venezuela as he said it had done with an Exxon Mobillawsuit freezing assets of the OPEC nation.
The anti-U.S. president also said such U.S. aggression could cause world oil prices to spike to $200 a barrel.
Washington has distanced itself from the Exxon legal offensive in which the largest U.S. company won international court orders freezing up to $12 billion of the state oil company PDVSA's assets.
"If you freeze us, if you really manage to freeze us, if you damage us, then we will hurt you. Do you know how? We are not going to send oil to the United States," Chavez said on his weekly TV show.
Chavez has frequently issued conditional threats to stop shipments to its biggest oil customer, but has maintained supplies despite clashing with the Bush administration over everything from crude prices to free trade to democracy.