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January 9, 2008

Venezuelan Oil "Assistance"

As if we needed another example of the perils of depending on foreign oil, I heard a radio commercial yesterday from CITGO, proclaiming it was owned by the Venezuelan “people” (government) and offering millions of gallons of oil free to needy Americans. The commercial used vivid language describing poor Americans in effect "hanging blankets between rooms to stay warm" and "shivering by the stove every night".

Is there some requirement that oil has to come from shaking, unstable countries that are hostile to the US? Or is because of oil that the areas around where it is sourced become that way? Either way it would be good to kick the habit.

Venezuela "helping" the US by donating oil? The US is far from perfect but perhaps Venezuela, and more specifically the regime of Hugo Chavez, would have more credibility if its own house was in order. Such as having a reasonably fair election, a per capita GDP a couple of times more than $7,200 as they did in 2006, and not having an "elected" dictator in power. Blatant propaganda, with help from spokesman Joe Kennedy.

And Venezuela is far from the worst of our oil suppliers. It's just bad US policy to be at the mercy of something as essential as energy, and one more reason we should all be working to avoid being dependent on unstable sources. Dependency is really no different than addiction.

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  • My understanding is they have elections in Venezuela, however Mr Chavez is extremely popular, and thus has won the last two. Wikipedia seems to agree with my hunch that Venezuela is democratic, and I find it an odd thing to bring up in a comparison to the United States, seeing as the last election there wasn't beyond criticism in terms of "fairness".
    Also, my understanding is that it was agents of US interests that staged an (attempted) coup in Venezuela recently (2002?). I don't think it is fair to criticise them for not having their house in order when your government is responsible for their instability.

    As for the advertising, I would say it's probably a bit overdramatised, and erring to propaganda, however the fact is CITGO was the only gas/oil company that stepped forward to offer discounts for low-income families when several Oil companies were asked if they would consider it. I don't care for them advertising it and blowing their own trumpet, but I firmly believe that the offer of discount oil to low-income earners is a great (if small in scale) token of generosity, and world unity.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 15, 2008 at 11:39 AM  

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