CARACAS, Venezuela - The Rev. Jesse Jackson met with President Hugo Chavez in hopes of reducing tensions between the United States and Venezuela after a religious broadcaster called for the leftist president's assassination.
The U.S. civil rights leader on Monday urged both sides to tone down their "hostile rhetoric," and said President Bush should strongly condemn recent remarks by conservative religious broadcaster Pat Robertson calling for Chavez's assassination.
Jackson said good relations are in both countries' interests since Venezuela is a top supplier of U.S. oil.
"I hope that we've done something to facilitate a detente on threatening rhetoric," Jackson said. "We're not going to have an oil war."
Chavez offered the United States cheap heating oil for poor communities and said he was willing to cooperate with the United States in anti-drug efforts, a program he recently suspended saying U.S. drug agents were involved in spying.
"In spite of the differences and the tense relations that exist, we're always willing to continue working together with Mr. Bush's government in the fight against drugs," Chavez said, adding that it "cannot be a mask to carry out spying or violate a country's sovereignty."