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Chavez Seeks 'Positive Relations' With US

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his nation wants to continue doing business with the United States, and would like to see more positive relations between the two countries.

Speaking to reporters in Caracas Thursday, Mr. Chavez said Venezuela wants to continue its oil sales to the United States - 1.5 million barrels per day - at the present level.

The Venezuelan president's latest comments contrasted sharply with his recent accusations that the United States is backing a plot to assassinate him.

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has dismissed Mr. Chavez's allegations are "ludicrous." She says the United States does not want bad relations with Venezuela, but does want assurances that Mr. Chavez is committed to democracy.

President Bush's administration is concerned about the treatment of opposition groups and independent news media in Venezuela.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters.