Defeat the Boycott – Buy Citgo Gas Today!

While the U.S. government plots "regime change" schemes to drive Chavez from power so as to grab Venezuela’s oil wealth, Chavez offers his love especially to the people of the U.S. whose bloodlines he proudly shares: African and Indigenous people.

By Mary Ratcliff - SF Bay View
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The American Family Association, whose website bills itself as "America's largest pro-family online action site," announced Wednesday a boycott of Citgo gas stations. The right-wing website invites readers to send a brief message to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that says: "Dear President Chavez, Just a note to let you know that I will not be shopping at Citgo. I don't want my money going to someone who has vowed to bring down my government."

"A source at the company's Houston headquarters said Citgo has received more than 37,000 e-mails from people pledging not to buy gasoline at the company's 14,000 U.S. service stations,” Reuters reports.

"This is the second campaign focusing on Citgo because of Chavez. In 2005, liberal groups began urging people opposed to the Bush administration to buy their gasoline at Citgo gas stations as a sign of support for Chavez."

Today the Bay View is renewing the call for a Citgo BUYcott, not a boycott, as a token of our admiration for President Chavez and his revolution that is sweeping South America and, we hope, spreading northward.

Bay View Editor CC Campbell-Rock is in Venezuela now, having attended last week’s World Social Forum – see her first two stories on the WSF in this week’s Bay View. She is staying over this week to tour the Venezuelan countryside with other delegates from Global Women’s Strike to meet the grassroots revolutionary leaders who are making the kind of miracles in education, health, housing, economic development etc. that could revive and transform the hoods of the U.S.

President Chavez envisions the 14,000 Citgo stations throughout the U.S. as little embassies dispensing not only bargain gasoline but direct assistance and encouragement to Black and Brown poor people. While the U.S. government plots "regime change" schemes to drive Chavez from power so as to grab Venezuela’s oil wealth, Chavez offers his love especially to the people of the U.S. whose bloodlines he proudly shares: African and Indigenous people.

Get your gas at Citgo, the oil company that cares about us
As U.S. oil companies Chevron and Exxon-Mobile report record profits – Chevron's the highest in its 126-year history and Exxon-Mobile’s the highest of any U.S. company ever – Venezuela’s Citgo, a subsidiary of its state-owned oil company that operates eight refineries and licenses 14,000 gas stations in the U.S., is setting aside up to 10 percent of its refined oil products, especially heating oil, to be sold directly to poor communities and institutions in the U.S.

Venezuelan oil is already heating homes – and warming hearts – in the hoods of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Maine and Rhode Island this winter. "There is a lot of poverty in the U.S.," Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told Rev. Jesse Jackson. "Many people die of the cold in winter."

While George W. Bush, in his State of the Union message Tuesday, decried his countrymen's "addiction to oil," President Chavez reaches out through Citgo stations to share Venezuela's oil wealth with those in the U.S. who need fuel for survival, not for SUVs. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world outside the Middle East.

Venezuelan opposition leader Julio Borges, running a distant second to Hugo Chavez in the current presidential campaign, alleged Tuesday that President Chavez has given away more than $5 billion to Cuba, $4.5 billion for Brazil, plus more than $200 million for the United States, "They’re all programs in which Venezuela gives money or gasoline or oil and receives nothing proportional in exchange," Borges told the Associated Press.

While Borges recited the statistics as an attack on Chavez, they also testify to Chavez' brilliant strategy to relieve suffering and uplift the poor throughout the Western Hemisphere. Chavez reminded Borges that all the recipients of Venezuelan petroleum products pay market prices, though special financing makes the purchases affordable.

Some countries pay partly in goods or services, such as bananas or beans. Cuba trades the work of some 20,000 Cuban doctors now treating Venezuela’s poor without charge. "How much do 20,000 doctors cost? Add it up," said Chavez.

His PetroCaribe pact, anagreement with 13 Caribbean countries, allows them to pay 60 percent of their bill for Venezuelan oil up front and to pay off the rest as a 25-year loan with a 1 per cent interest rate. Similar financing is being offered to heat the homes of the poor in the northern U.S. this winter with Venezuelan oil.

To support the only oil company that cares about us, patronize your nearest Citgo station. To find it, use the "Citgo Locator" at www.citgo.com/CITGOLocator.jsp