Chavez slammed the United States for moving naval and air forces closer to Libya amid active international discussions about imposing a no-fly zone over the country.
The U.S. has a regular military presence in the Mediterranean Sea, two aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf area and a wide range of surveillance equipment available for use in the region. Without specific information about what assets were being moved and where, it was impossible to tell whether the U.S. moves were intended as a military threat or were simply a symbolic show of force.
A flight ban seemed unlikely in the short term. Senior U.S. officials said the issue was not discussed during Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, whose country would have to support such a move if the U.S. and its allies wanted authorization from the U.N. Security Council. Lavrov dismissed the idea in public remarks.