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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:34 AM
Original message
Alaska villages await Venezuela oil aid
Alaska villages await Venezuela oil aid
By JEANNETTE J. LEE
Associated Press writer Monday, October 09, 2006

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- In the Arctic village of Ambler, residents are paying $7.25 a gallon for home heating oil as the days darken and the chill of winter seeps into the dozens of homes, most poorly insulated, along the Kobuk River.

The impoverished Inupiat Eskimo community of 280 welcomes any help in the costly drudgery of keeping warm, even if it comes, as critics point out, from a country engaged in a geopolitical spat with the U.S.

"When you have a dire need and it is a matter of survival for your people, it doesn't matter where, what country, the gift or donation comes from," said Virginia Commack, who at 56 years old is considered a young elder in Ambler.

Ambler and nearly 150 other Alaska Native villages have accepted money for heating oil from Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, repeatedly referred to President Bush as "the devil" in a speech to the United Nations last month. Chavez has also called Bush a "terrorist," and denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The Venezuelan government, through its Texas-based oil company Citgo, plans to buy 100 gallons of heating oil this winter for each of more than 12,000 households in rural Alaska.
(snip/...)

http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2006/10/09/ne...
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. I still question the wisdom of this policy
It really doesn't get much goodwill for Venezuela because so few people in the US even know about it.
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pooja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Why question generosity?
Yes, it puts Bush's panties in a wad, but isn't it better that the world engage in humanitarianism? Shouldn't this show other countries how to act? And shouldn't it shame us that we take over inuit land, drain its resources, and leave them desparate for foreign aid? Next time oil co. post their billion dollar profits, think about how so many suffer for that resource while fat cats become richer.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Because these are funds that belong to Venezuela
And the people of Venezuela should receive some benefit (like goodwill) from their dollars going to other nations. Yes I know that Venezuela does help out other countries and those countries are grateful to Venezuela for the assistance. But when Venezuela sends their dollars to the US, even the people receiving the assistance do not think any better of Venezuela.

There are plenty of people in the world who need assistance which could use Venezuela's help and not spit in Venezuela's face after taking their help.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:23 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I really don't think that the Inupiat Eskimo community
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 05:25 AM by RC
or any of the 150 or so Eskimo communities receiving aid are spitting in Venezuela's face.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. The Venezuelan people receive the good feeling we all do
when one freely gives to others without expecting or wanting anything in return. Chavez has helped out numerous cities/projects in the USA with money and/or oil.

PS; Cuba does a lot of philanthropic stuff around the world too, only SHHHHH don't tell Americans this!

PSS; Iraq under Saddam Hussein won humanitarian awards, but that's another SHHHHH don't tell Americans!

(Must keep them ignorant to any facts which don't demonize governments the US government doesn't like!}
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PeaceProgProsp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. Investing in the future by alleviating poverty and misery around world
is anti-inflationary, and, therefore, will also help Venezuelans. This is the philanthropic side of the same coin that has Venezuela buying bonds from countries all over Latin America that are using the money to invest in infrastructure and other programs that help poor people.
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. I Think You are Wrong about:
"even the people receiving the assistance do not think any better of Venezuela."

Why? Because many here do.... and believe it or not, many more do think better of Venezuala than you might think. Don't believe all the MSM hype.
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
12. You question the wisdom of doing good by people???
I question your wisdom...
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:33 AM
Response to Original message
5. I am not sure this is true but once read this
A small town needed a new bridge and the state would not build it so USSR sent the money to do it. It was pretty funny but the town was very happy. I guess every one but the govt. with egg on its face is happy in these things. I never heated my home so cheaply as when I lived in Alaska by-the-way. It was great after having lived so long in NE. So at one time the big oil corp. must have been giving a deal to people living in Alaska.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Like the world helping rebuild New Orleans.
Coz bushCabal won't.

A wee bit shameful & embarrassing, ain't it. But THANK YOU to those in the world being so generous to help when our own "government" won't.
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:16 AM
Response to Original message
6. "$7.25 a gallon for home heating oil"???
I, for one, had no idea it was so high. Well, SOMETHING has to be done about that! If Chavez is trying to shame Bush_Cheney_&_Halliburton into doing something about it, then more power to him. That's the rationale behind those "charity bazaars" --- to goad fat cats into bidding against ech other, for the benefit of the "truly needy". Let the bidding commence!

pnorman
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. The problem is that Chavez is one of the fat cats
Venezuela is an OPEC member. OPEC is cutting production to stop the price of oil from falling.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
7. Putting family above politics. Intelligent people in Ambler.
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 09:18 AM by LynnTheDem
Thank you, Chavez, for your kindness & generosity.

Keep warm, Ambler. :)

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
10. Thanks, Judi Lynn! There was another article a couple of days ago that
another Alaskan tribe had refused the oil for some Bushite sort of reason. I may not have saved it. But it would be interesting to check what news organizations spread that story and are ignoring this one. I wondered about it at the time--why were they highlighting one village's refusal, but failing to mention the many accepting the help.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Glad you mentioned it. Here's the link on that event, with the Aleuts:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Looks as if some gummint official contacted the original villages first, and didn't realize the offer would be so widespread. From the article:
Of the communities tagged to receive the money in November all but a handful have accepted. Officials in four villages in the Aleutian and Pribilof islands rejected the offer because Chavez's comments offended them, but most recipients say survival trumps the faraway political fracas.

"When it comes to feeding and taking care of your family, you have to compromise sometimes," said Shield Downey, a part-time janitor at Ambler's health clinic. "I don't have anything against our government, but if it needs to be that we get assistance from a different source, so be it."

The money is slated for Tglingit and Haida Indians in southeast Alaska, Athabascan Indians in the Interior and Eskimos along the western coast. The villages that qualify for aid must be at least 75 percent Alaska Native, according to the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council.

Citgo has given millions of gallons of discounted heating oil to poor households in several states, including New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine.
(snip)
I'll bet you it was ONLY Republican politicians who tried to block villages from receiving this cirically needed assistance.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
16. Many welcome free fuel
Many welcome free fuel
HEAT: Most villages who were offered the gift don't want to play politics with Venezuela.

By JEANNETTE J. LEE
The Associated Press

Published: October 9, 2006
Last Modified: October 9, 2006 at 01:47 AM



Photo by JAMES MASON / The Associated Press

In the Arctic village of Ambler, residents are paying $7.25 a gallon for home heating oil as the days darken and the chill of winter seeps into the dozens of homes, most poorly insulated, along the Kobuk River.
(snip)

The donation has refocused attention on the rampant and long-standing problems in the oil-rich state's Native villages, where poverty, fuel prices, unemployment and unchecked crime far surpass national averages.

For years, Alaska Natives have reproached the state and federal governments for sending too little money to their tiny, far-flung communities. Many lie at least 100 miles off the state's skeletal road system in climates where winter temperatures routinely plummet far below zero. Fuel and grocery prices are bloated by the high costs of long-distance shipping by small plane and barge.

"It's pretty clear that the people need help and they're not going to get it here," said Steve Sumida, deputy director for the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council in Anchorage. "Who else is providing the assistance?"
(snip/...)

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/8285364p-8181865c....

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TX-RAT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
17. She wrote 2 articles?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Truly strange, isn't it? She wrote them both completely seriously,
Edited on Tue Oct-10-06 03:17 PM by Judi Lynn
as it seems.

If you read the "rejection" article, you really need to know about the villages which DID accept oil, or you'll have a WILDLY misinformed picture. She SHOULD have found a way to combine both of them in one story, right?

Seems only fair. (Makes you wonder what kind of game she's running.)

We heard about the rejection villages at the end of September, from another reporter, posted here by Harpboy_AK.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
19. Kick.
:kick: :kick: :kick:
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allisonthegreat Donating Member (586 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
20. I heard..
They did not want it!

The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, a nonprofit organization that represents native Aleuts in Alaska has rejected lower cost heating oil from Venezuela because of Hugo Chavez's remarks at the UN. These are among the poorest people in the entire state of Alaska and they pay some of the highest oil prices because of the high cost of transportation.

And they rejected the bribe Chavez wanted to give them.


And yet a few villages are refusing free heating oil from Venezuela, on the patriotic principle that no foreigner has the right to call their president "the devil."

The heating oil is being offered by the petroleum company controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, President Bush's nemesis. While scores of Alaska's Eskimo and Indian villages say they have no choice but to accept, others would rather suffer.

"As a citizen of this country, you can have your own opinion of our president and our country. But I don't want a foreigner coming in here and bashing us," said Justine Gunderson, administrator for the tribal council in the Aleut village of Nelson Lagoon. "Even though we're in economically dire straits, it was the right choice to make."

Nelson Lagoon residents pay more than $5 a gallon for oil or at least $300 a month per household to heat their homes along the wind-swept coast of the Bering Sea, where temperatures can dip to minus-15. About one-quarter of the 70 villagers are looking for work, in part because Alaska's salmon fishing industry has been hit hard by competition from fish farms.

The donation to Alaska's native villages has focused attention on the rampant poverty and high fuel prices in a state that is otherwise awash in oil and oil profits. In 2005, 86 percent of the Alaska's general fund, or $2.8 billion, came from oil from the North Slope.

The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, a native nonprofit organization that would have handled the heating oil donation on behalf of 291 households in Nelson Lagoon, Atka, St. Paul and St. George, rejected the offer because of the insults Chavez has hurled at Bush.

Maine has also refused any dealings with Citgo. The action by the the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association is one that makes me proud.


_I am sorry I don not have the link...__________________

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