CARACAS - Venezuela on Saturday rejected as unsubstantiated a new US report that accused President Hugo Chavez's government of failing to fight the drugs trade.

Chavez, a socialist seeking re-election next month, is a ferocious critic of Washington, and his nearly 14-year rule has been characterized by frequent bilateral spats and incidents.

Narcotics has been a thorny issue in between the oil-producing country and the United States, its main client. In 2005 Chavez kicked US drug enforcement agents out of the country, accusing them of spying on his "Bolivarian Revolution".

This is the fourth straight year that Venezuela figured in Washington's list of drug interdiction underachievers.

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