Venezuela's oil minister: We're to cut off oil to US if necessary

Venezuela is ready to cut off oil supplies to the United States if pressed into an "economic war," the country's oil minister said in an interview published Tuesday, echoing a threat by President Hugo Chavez. Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told the Venezuelan newspaper Ultimas Noticias that "we're ready" to cut off oil shipments to the United States - a threat that apparently could be triggered if Exxon Mobil Corp. succeeds in seizing billions of dollars (euros) in Venezuelan assets though lawsuits abroad. Chavez first made the threat Sunday in response to a drive by Exxon Mobil to seize Venezuelan assets through US and European courts in a dispute over the nationalization of lucrative oil ventures in Venezuela.