Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Like shooting fish in an (oil) barrel

Massachusetts in energy deal with Venezuela

Venezuelan officials signed a deal Tuesday to ship 12 million gallons (45 million liters) of discounted home heating oil to poor Americans in Massachusetts as part of plan by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez to help needy U.S. communities.

The fuel is being offered by Citgo Petroleum Corp., a subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company which runs roughly 16,000 gas stations in the U.S.

U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, who helped broker the deal, called the agreement "an expression of humanitarianism at its very best," and rejected criticism that the move was motivated by politics. Chavez often blames the plight of the poor on unbridled capitalism and had criticized U.S. President George W. Bush's government for failing to reduce poverty.

...

The plan to provide low-cost heating oil to poor communities in Massachusetts and also the Bronx in New York City is "eminently a political move," said Patrick Esteruelas, an analyst with the New York-based Eurasia Group.

He said it is a way for Venezuela to "compromise the White House position within the U.S." and emphasize what Chavez has long cited as the failings of U.S. policy.


Well, OK, it's not very hard to make the assministration look bad these days, but you have to give Chavez style points. Big Oil tells America to bugger off when asked to kick in for home heating relief this winter, saying it would set a "bad precedent?" Let Uncle Hugo lend a hand. And tell George he said "Howdy."

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