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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 06:06 AM
Original message
Venezuela plans more oil discounts
2 from Mass. play role in deal for region
Leftist President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela said yesterday he would greatly expand the discounted home heating oil program he started last year for needy people in Massachusetts and other northeastern states. Chavez, a firebrand populist who has clashed repeatedly with President Bush, said in an interview with the Globe that he would extend the program for next year and increase the amount of cheaper oil available. Former US representative Joseph P. Kennedy II, who was among a group that negotiated the deal with Chavez, said customers would have more direct access to the heating oil and would be subject to looser eligibility rules.

Chavez made the pledge in an interview after meeting with a group including Representative William D. Delahunt, Democrat of Quincy, and Kennedy, who is now chairman of Citizens Energy, a nonprofit Massachusetts group. The two had played a key role in negotiating the initial deal with Chavez last year that sent 12 million gallons of reduced-cost heating oil to Bay Staters this winter, which assisted about 45,000 needy families. Several other states negotiated similar deals.

That program set off sharp criticism from some Republicans who said Delahunt was playing into the hands of Chavez and undermining US foreign policy by dealing with an anti-American populist with a questionable human rights record. The initiative to renew the discount oil program for the coming winter is certain to intensify the political battles in the United States over how to respond to the high price of gasoline and home energy costs -- including whether the US government is itself doing enough to help the poor confront soaring fuel costs.

While Chavez did not say how much more oil would be made available this year, he said in an interview after meeting the delegation that he will move to a ''second stage, an expansion and deepening of the project. " The oil will again be provided by CITGO, the US distribution arm of the Venezuelan state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela. While the controversial Venezuelan leader has irked the administration and other critics with his anti-Bush rhetoric, he said yesterday that he had no problems with the American people. ''The only things we feel about the American people are affection, caring, and the willingness to improve relations," Chavez said in the interview in his Miraflores presidential palace.



Continued...
http://www.boston.com/news/world/latinamerica/articles/...
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
1. Isn't the heating season almost over now?
I wish he would set a lower price for Citgo..There's one not too far from here :)
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. They're talking about getting ready for next winter.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. Amazing, isn't it? A leader in a country that never gets cold
is able to anticipate winter ina a different country, and the oil companies who have been here over a hundred years get's "surprised" EVERY year by Ole Man Winter :silly:
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. The Citgo's in Detroit have slightly lower prices than BP or Mobil
Citgo and Sunoco are the cheapest name brands, but there are a couple of independent operators with even lower prices. Citgo at 8 Mile/Ryan is 2.83 today.
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grottieyottie Donating Member (87 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
3. Questionable Human Rights Record?
That's rich - coming from a country the has fingered International Law, scorned Habeas Corpus, and has been caught red handed torturing people not only in Iraq - but in secret gulags around the world.
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ronnie624 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Exactly right.
In fact, the Chavez government and the policies thereof are not even implicated in Amnesty International's published report on Venezuela. Most of the criticism is of the conduct of "protesters" during the attempted coup in April of 2002 and the civil disturbances of 2004. Local police agencies are also criticized and much of that extends back through the nineties during a time before Hugo Chavez was elected president. On the other hand the entire world is well aware of the resulting horrors of the Bush administration. No AI report is required.

Those who use this issue as a weapon against Chavez mark themselves as dishonest and hypocritical, especially if they are of U.S. American extraction.
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corporate_mike Donating Member (812 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
4. Venezuelan population below poverty line : 67%
Shouldn't he be helping them instead of us "rich Americans"?
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Why must it be an either/or
Chavez is spending huge amounts helping the poor of Venezuela which is why the global rich are complaining about him.
Chavez also knows foreign good-will programs help the security of his county.

So he does both unlike Bush who only has an either/or mentality.

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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Exactly,
Hugo Chavez has done more to help the poor make it through the winter than Bush did. And frankly, as long as he is fairly elected and treats his own people well, he is a good guy in my books. And he is certainly entitled to his opinions of Bush. That is what democracy is about.
Citgo is the cheapest gas here and I use it almost exclusively. Thank you Hugo.
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Catrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. I think you better go back and check the latest stats on Venezuela's poor
It was over 80% when Chavez took over, and this week I read that the number of people now below the poverty has gone way down to 37%. He accomplished this in several different ways, but mostly by using Venezuela's own resources for its own people. What a concept.

He has also paid down Venezuela's debt, while our govenrment under Bush, has increased it.

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Laughing Mirror Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
9. How can Chavez be an anti-American populist when he IS American
Doesn't make any sense.
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Jack_DeLeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-25-06 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
12. I may not totally agree with all of positions...
but Chavez seems to be on the ball on alot of things, more so than most other leaders in this Hemisphere.
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