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Chavez Offers Cheap Gas To Poor In U.S.
by reposted
Wednesday Aug 24th, 2005 7:45 PM
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, popular with the poor at home, offered on Tuesday to help needy Americans with cheap supplies of gasoline.
Venezuela could supply gasoline to Americans at half the price they now pay if intermediaries who "speculated ... and exploited consumers" were cut out.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "We want to sell gasoline and heating fuel directly to poor communities in the United States," the populist leader told reporters at the end of a visit to Communist-run Cuba.

Chavez did not say how Venezuela would go about providing gasoline to poor communities. Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA owns Citgo, which has 14,000 gas stations in the United States.

The offer may sound attractive to Americans feeling pinched by soaring prices at the pump but not to the U.S. government, which sees Chavez as a left-wing troublemaker in Latin America.

Gasoline is cheaper than mineral water in oil-producing Venezuela, where consumers can fill their tanks for less than $2. Average gas prices have risen to $2.61 a gallon in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Chavez said Venezuela could supply gasoline to Americans at half the price they now pay if intermediaries who "speculated ... and exploited consumers" were cut out.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0824-06.htm
by more
Wednesday Aug 24th, 2005 8:13 PM
Venezuelan president hits back at assassination remarks with offer of cheap petroleum for poor Americans

Duncan Campbell
Thursday August 25, 2005
The Guardian

President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela hit back vigorously at calls by an ally of President George Bush for his assassination by offering cheap petrol to the poor of the US at a time of soaring fuel prices.

In a typically robust response to remarks by the US televangelist Pat Robertson, Mr Chávez compared his detractors to the "rather mad dogs with rabies" from Cervantes' Don Quixote, and unveiled his plans to use Venezuela's energy reserves as a political tool.

"We want to sell gasoline and heating fuel directly to poor communities in the United States," he said.

Mr Robertson's remarks have threatened to inflame tension between the US and one of its main oil suppliers.

Yesterday the religious broadcaster apologised for his remarks.

"Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologise for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the US is out to kill him," he said.

In a TV broadcast on Monday, he said: "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."

Yesterday Mr Robertson initially said his comments had been misinterpreted, but went on to add that kidnapping Mr Chávez might be a better idea.

"I said our special forces could take him out. Take him out could be a number of things, including kidnapping."

The Bush administration tried to distance itself from Mr Robertson's views without upsetting the large Christian fundamentalist wing which the veteran evangelist represents.

A State Department spokesman said assassination was not part of government policy. "He's a private citizen," Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, said of Mr Robertson. "Private citizens say all kinds of things all the time."

But Mr Robertson's remarks are seen as an embarrassment at a time when the US is calling for a united front against terror.

Democrats have challenged the Bush administration to be more outspoken in its response to Mr Robertson's remarks on the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Venezuela's ambassador to the US, Bernardo Alvarez, said: "Mr Robertson has been one of this president's staunchest allies. His statement demands the strongest condemnation by the White House."

The Venezuelan government is asking for assurances from the US government that Mr Chávez will be adequately protected when he visits New York for a special session of the UN next month.

Venezuela's vice-president, José Vicente Rangel, said the possibility of legal action against Mr Robertson for incitement to murder should also be considered.

Venezuela, the world's fifth largest crude exporter, supplies 1.3m barrels of oil a day to the US. It remains unclear how poor Americans might benefit from the cheap petrol offer, but Mr Chávez has set up arrangements with other countries for swapping services in exchange for oil. Cuban doctors are working in the poorer areas of Venezuela in exchange for cheap oil going to Cuba.

Jamaica yesterday became the first Caribbean country to reach an agreement with Venezuela for oil at below-market terms. The Petrocaribe initiative is a plan to offer oil at flexible rates to 13 Caribbean countries. Jamaica will pay $40 a barrel, against a market rate of more than $60.

Mr Chávez said oil importers such as the US could expect no respite from the oil market, predicting the price of a barrel would reach $100 by 2012.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/venezuela/story/0,12716,1555970,00.html
by The Bush Tribunal
Wednesday Aug 24th, 2005 11:21 PM
Bush: "Sorry to Oil The Covert Operations and Death Squads but Cheap Gas comes Last and Big Oil comes first."

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