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President Obama is seeking $46 million to establish a new military facility in Colombia. The funding request has been opposed by several advocacy groups. John Lindsay-Poland of the Fellowship of Reconciliation said, “This base would feed a failed drug policy, support an abusive army, and reinforce a tragic history of US military intervention in the region.” The Pentagon has been looking for a new site in Latin America ever since Ecuador notified Washington last year that it would not renew the
Venezuela's proven oil reserves are among the top ten in the world. Increases in world oil prices in recent years have allowed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to expand social program spending, bolster commercial ties with other countries, and boost his own international profile.
Though Chavez has threatened to stop exporting Venezuelan oil and refined petroleum products to the United States, its biggest oil-trading partner, experts say a significant short-term shift in oil relations between Venezuela and the United States is unlikely. The medium-term outlook for state oil company PDVSA is questionable, however, and analysts draw links between PDVSA's profitability and the political stability of the country. Analysts say the recent global financial crisis and sudden drop in oil prices are adding to the oil company's financial turmoil.