President Hugo Chavez's government said it is not interested in buying electricity from neighbouring Colombia despite Venezuela's struggles with severe energy shortages.
Colombian Energy Minister Hernan Martinez said his country was producing more electricity than it used and could supply Venezuela with power. But Venezuelan Vice-President Elias Jaua spurned the offer, saying his country is going to power up its own electricity system.
Chavez blames energy shortages on a drought and low water levels at Guri Dam, which supplies about 70% of Venezuela's electricity. Critics blame them on the President's failure to invest enough in electricity production over the past decade.
Venezuelan Energy Minister Ali Rodriguez suggested rocky relations between Caracas and Bogota probably induced Venezuela to reject the offer.
Long-standing tensions between the South American neighbours have worsened in recent months over Colombia's agreement to give the United States military more access; a deal Chavez calls a threat to Venezuela.
Rodriguez said Venezuela's efforts to effectively implement an energy savings plan aimed at curbing electricity shortages could be undermined if state-run power companies don't install meters in homes that use electricity but don't pay for the Government-subsidised service.
It's difficult to determine who steals and who doesn't if they aren't installed.
Millions of poor Venezuelans, particularly those inhabiting the sprawling slums ringing major cities help themselves to electricity for free by splicing wires on to power lines.