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Official: U.S. would accept Venezuelan aid

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. officials said Friday they would accept help from Venezuela for those affected by the Hurricane Katrina despite sour relations between the nations.

"We're willing to accept all offers of help and all offers of assistance are welcome," said Fred Jones, spokesman for the White House's National Security Council, when asked about offers of assistance from Venezuela.

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The United States and Venezuela have been at odds in recent years, with the White House alleging leftist President Hugo Chavez is trying to create a Cuba-style state in Venezuela.

In turn, Chavez accuses the Bush administration of trying to facilitate his overthrow by supporting opposition groups in Venezuela.

Chavez earlier this week offered to create an assistance plan for poor Americans this winter who will have a difficult time heating their homes due to rising fuel prices.

Venezuela is the world's fifth larges exporter of oil.

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