Venezuela's Chavez brushes aside U.S. ban on arms sales

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday brushed aside America's suspension of arms sales to his country, saying "this doesn't matter to us at all."

"It's the empire and it has a great capacity to do harm to the countries of the world," he said, referring to the U.S. as "an irrational empire."

The Venezuelan leader, on a visit to London, also said his government would not respond with punitive measures such as travel restrictions.

"There's no way we will do that. We will find a solution to this," he told The Associated Press.

The United States on Monday announced it was imposing a ban on arms sales to Venezuela because of what it claims is a lack of support by Chavez's government for counterterrorism efforts, State Department officials said.

For nearly a year, there has been a nearly total lack of cooperation with anti-terrorism, said Darla Jordan, a State Department spokeswoman.

Chavez, who often claims that Washington is planning to invade his country, said, "We have big friends in the world who are willing to help us to defend our country against imperialism. Down with imperialism," reports AP.

O.Ch.