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Joe For Oil

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Boom_70, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Has anyone seen this commercial ? Joe Kennedy promoting Citizens Energy which is an oil company that provides subsidized heating oil for low income families. In said commercial he thanks Hugo Chavez for his assistance and mentions that Citgo is the only big oil company that was willing to help.

    What an embarrassment that the other US based big oil companies would not help with all the money they make.
     
  2. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    It's embarrassing that he would thank Hugo Chavez for anything
     
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Citizens Energy isn't an oil company. It's a nonprofit that Kennedy founded in 1979 to launch his political career. It provides free fuel to poor people -- started out in Boston and has expanded nationally. It relies completely on Hugo Chavez and Citgo -- the state-owned oil company that Chavez controls -- which gives it free crude oil. It doesn't refine that oil and give it directly to poor people. It actually resells into our marketplace and uses the proceeds to fund its mission. Because Kennedy pays 0 for that oil, it actually drives up oil prices for everyone to a small extent by dumping no-cost oil on our marketplace. At the same time, though, Citizens provides free heating oil to a few hundred thousand households.

    Chavez has been milking it for years for public relations and to create members of our Congress who are beholden to him -- and presumably won't be tough with his dictatorship -- because he employs lobbyists who work directly with specific members of Congress to get poor neighborhoods in their districts Citizens oil. ... and Kennedy plays along with it. It's all part of Chavez's efforts to manipulate our political system and to sell a false image of himself to the American people. He gives away a few hundred million dollars of oil, uses it to make members of our Congress kiss his ass, has had a variety of advertising campaigns selling himself as a philanthropist. ... and Joe Kennedy is cool with it all and uses it largely the same way -- selling his "philanthropy" to fuel his political aspirations.

    It isn't embarrassing for any other oil company -- which unlike, Citgo, are not the personal playgrounds of dictatorships. Chavez plunders his own people. Poverty in Venezuela is severe and has gotten worse under Chavez's regime. Chavez has nationalized anything of value to line his own pockets, including the oil industry, which is what gives him economic power and buys him the muscle to stay in power. While his own people suffer--many without electricity; homelessness is epidemic--why would it be embarrassing for anyone else to not match the corrupt games he plays with millions of dollars he stole and is using to buy influence in the United States?
     
  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Ok it was late and I was a bit lazy in my writing. Ragu does a great job of laying out what Citizens is all about. Next up free oil from Iran.
     
  5. To write Citgo is the only personal playground of dictatorships is flat-out wrong.
     
  6. Azrael

    Azrael Active Member

    Hasn't the poverty rate declined under Chavez?

    He's not a good guy, certainly - but were the people of Venezuela better off when companies like Royal Dutch Shell were taking their oil profits out of the country? Venezuela's been one of the few oil producers over the last century to successfully defend itself against the sort of predatory wealth extraction we see in other resource-rich countries.
     
  7. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Jon Lee Anderson wrote a great piece in the New Yorker a few weeks ago that kind of touched on what Chavez has done to his own people. It was titled, "Slumlord: What Has Hugo Chavez Wrought in Venezuela?" The article is mostly about a half-finished skycraper called the Tower of David that has been taken over by squatters.

    It's not entirely of Chavez's doing, because Venezuela was on the decline before he took power, but it has certainly gotten worse under Chavez. Anderson points out that for decades, the country was a stable democracy, had a growing middle class and a high standard of living. It was due to the oil it sits on. He wrote that other Latin Americans had come to regard the country as a beautiful place for beautiful people.

    Under Chavez there has been neglect, corruption and social upheaval, and the article goes into how Caracas has deteriorated: "Venders wade through the gridlock, hawking toys, insecticides and bootleg DVDs, while drug addicts wash windshields or juggle for change. Spray-painted graffiti covers facades; trash is piled up on roadsides. The Guaire River, which runs through the heart of the city, is a gray torrent of foul-smelling water. Along its banks live hundreds of homeless indigents, mostly drug addicts and the mentally ill."
     
  8. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Not according to the story in last week's New Yorker -- Letters from Caracas by Jon Lee Anderson.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/01/28/130128fa_fact_anderson

    "LETTER FROM CARACAS about the Tower of David, which is the world’s tallest slum, and the man who runs it, Alexander (El Niño) Daza. Hugo Chávez has said that he wants to remake Venezuela into “a sea of happiness and of real social justice and peace.” His pronounced goal was to elevate the poor. In Caracas, the country’s capital, the results of his fitful campaign are plain to see. For decades, as one of the world’s most oil-rich nations, Venezuela had a growing middle class, with an impressively high standard of living. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the rest of Latin America and from Europe helped give Caracas a reputation as one of the region’s most attractive and modern cities. That city is barely perceptible today. After decades of neglect, poverty, corruption, and social upheaval, Caracas has deteriorated beyond all measure. It has one of the highest homicide rates in the world; last year, in a city of three million, an estimated thirty-six hundred people were murdered, or about one every two hours. The murder rate in Venezuela has tripled since Chávez took office. Caracas is a failed city, and the Tower of David is perhaps the ultimate symbol of that failure.
     
  9. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I don't live in the Northeast, so the short answer is no, I haven't seen it.
     
  10. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    That sure sounds like a veritable Utopia compared to the years before Chavez took over... Dude's a saint.
     
  11. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    Wow. If what Chavez does is so bad, then perhaps those staunch defenders of democracy and clean politics like Exxon/Mobil, BP, etc., should divert a small portion of the billions and billions of their profits and start similar but larger programs in this country to save those poor people without the means to pay for heating oil, Joe Kennedy, and all those corrupt congressmen from falling under Hugo's mystical evil spell.

    Or, maybe those elderly, poor, disabled and others without the means to pay the high cost of heating oil will just continue to take some measure of aid from Citgo so they can stay warm in the winter, and somehow still not turn into socialists, communists or wobblies.

    Poor Americans receiving free oil from dictatorships like Venezuela = bad.
    Rich corporations sending American jobs overseas to dictatorships like China, Vietnam, etc. to save labor costs = good.
     
  12. I'm just glad Exxon or Shell do not support dictatorships in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
     
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