US President George W Bush has said in an interview that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is "not a military threat" but is a menace when it comes to "undermining democracy."
Asked by Fox News television whether Chavez was threat, Bush replied, "No. Not a military threat. We've got a very strong military and we can deal with any threat to the homeland there is. And will if we have to."
"I view him as a threat of undermining democracy," the president said during a trip Miami.
Asked about Venezuela's use of oil exports as a possible source of influence over the United States, Bush said Chavez was "an indication that we've got to make sure we've got a wise energy policy in the United States."
"We get oil from parts of the world where people don't necessarily like us and therefore the faster we can, you know, reduce our dependency on oil, the more secure the nation will be economically and from a national security perspective," said Bush.