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Common Dreams archive: Citgo Buy-cott

In Economic Justice, International politics, International Trade on September 25, 2006 at 12:23 am

In light of the recent events at the UN involving Chavez, as well as Chavez’s program for donating heating oil to low income Americans, Common Dreams reposted an article from their May, 2005 archives about Citgo and Venezuelan Oil. Here is the article, by Jeff Cohen, in its entirety:

Buy Your Gas at Citgo: Join the BUY-cott!

Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations.

And tell your friends.

Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation’s oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is Hugo Chavez. Call him “the Anti-Bush.”

Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela — not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US. (Click here http://www.citgo.com/CITGOLocator/StoreLocator.jsp to find one near you.) By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela’s democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans.

Instead of using government to help the rich and the corporate, as Bush does, Chavez is using the resources and oil revenue of his government to help the poor in Venezuela. A country with so much oil wealth shouldn’t have 60 percent of its people living in poverty, earning less than $2 per day. With a mass movement behind him, Chavez is confronting poverty in Venezuela. That’s why large majorities have consistently backed him in democratic elections. And why the Bush administration supported an attempted military coup in 2002 that sought to overthrow Chavez.

So this is the opposite of a boycott. Call it a BUYcott. Spread the word.

Of course, if you can take mass transit or bike or walk to your job, you should do so. And we should all work for political changes that move our country toward a cleaner environment based on renewable energy. The BUYcott is for those of us who don’t have a practical alternative to filling up our cars.

So get your gas at Citgo. And help fuel a democratic revolution in Venezuela.

Jeff Cohen is an author and media critic (www.jeffcohen.org)

I read somewhere that people are taking out anger at Chavez on Citgo.  One example I read was that a Citgo sign that had been hanging in a Boston stadium for years was taken down.  I’m posting this article so that people see the other side of the arguments and don’t do things based simply on blind patriotism.

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