Buying Gas From Citgo
by Charley Reese
I've noticed, in letters to the editor, a number of people suggesting that big oil companies be boycotted. Well, that's pretty hard to do, since they control so much of the nation's oil business.
But, if you object to your hard-earned dollars enriching the already rich who control British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, there is a solution. Buy your gasoline from Citgo.
Citgo is owned by the Venezuelan government, and yes, I know that the Bush administration has launched a campaign to demonize Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. If you believe that band of liars in Washington, then by all means continue to enrich the rich who put that crowd in office. Their fortunes and future depend on Americans being saps and suckers for cheap propaganda.
You have a choice. You can help pay for corporate jets and obscene bonuses, or you can buy from Citgo and help provide medical care, food, housing and education for the poor of Venezuela.
Hugo Chavez has never said he hated the United States, much less threatened it. He is opposed to U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, and with good reason. He said down with the U.S. "empire." I'm for that. We should abandon imperialism and return to our republican roots. The empire and the United States are not the same thing. U.S. foreign policy has one goal: to make the world safe, comfortable and profitable for America's largest multinational corporations.
Last winter, Chavez and Citgo made low-cost heating oil available to Americans in the Northeast. Do you object to that?
He has traded oil to Cuba for doctors and nurses to set up health clinics for the poor. Do you object to the poor receiving medical care?
He has set up a chain of grocery stores that sell food to the poor at cost. Do you object to the poor eating?
He has declared war on illiteracy and is providing education for people who previously had no hope of escaping ignorance. Do you think the poor should remain barefoot and illiterate?
When the Bush people publicly insult Chavez, he publicly insults them back. That is how a man should be. It was obscene for the arrogant Donald Rumsfeld to compare Chavez to Adolf Hitler. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the man's life, words or deeds that remotely relates to Hitler. Hitler, however, does share one characteristic with Rumsfeld. Hitler thought he knew better than his generals how to fight a war, and like Rumsfeld, he was dead wrong.
I've researched Chavez. I've listened to his speeches. Yes, he's long-winded, but he's much more entertaining than Bill Clinton or Fidel Castro. I've read profiles by honest foreign journalists who interviewed his critics and his supporters. I've yet to find anything he has said, done or proposed to do that any decent American could object to.
Chavez is not a dictator. He was elected. He survived a coup and he survived a recall election, both of which you can bet the CIA had a hand in. He's human. He might fail. But he has shown by his actions and his words that his intentions are much more decent than George Bush's. As for his concern about an American invasion, that is not unreasonable. We invaded Panama and Grenada and Santo Domingo to dislodge leaders we didn't like, and that's just in my lifetime. America has a long history of military intervention in Central and South America.
When did it become a sin for a foreign leader to disagree with an American president? And when did Americans, free and sovereign citizens of a republic, decide to surrender their brains to the hired help temporarily occupying the White House?
So, if you are disgusted by big oil, then you have a choice. Buy Citgo. That way, you will make not only the big oil companies mad, but George Bush as well. And don't forget that Citgo has 14,000 American employees.
© 2006 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.