Hugo Chavez expelled the U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela in the wake of violence in Bolivia that Chavez blames on the United States. Chavez also accuses the United States of plotting a coup against his regime.
While Chavez recalled its own ambassador to the United States, sources say they plan to declare the Venezuelan envoy persona non grata and kick him out.
Chavez also said that the arrival in Venezuela of Russian Tupolev Tu-160 "Blackjack" bombers for joint military exercises is a "warning" to the United States. The Tu-160 bomber is a supersonic, long range nuclear-capable strategic bomber similar to the American B1A Lancer.
The United States imports over one million barrels of oil every day from Venezuela, which is the fourth largest provider of oil to the United States after Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.