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Published:January 10th, 2009 09:43 EST
Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez Free Oil Program A Lifesaver For US Poor

By Robert Paul Reyes

"President Hugo Chavez will keep donating heating oil for poor American families in a costly decision that suggests the Venezuelan leader wants to keep to his pledges-and buttress his image-in spite of falling oil prices.

Hugo Chavez

Venezuela`s Citgo Petroleum Corp. announced the aid program would continue on Wednesday, just two days after its partner nonprofit group, Boston-based Citizens Energy, said Citgo had halted the free fuel shipments due to the world economic crisis.

`Chavez decided that it was a mistake,` said Larry Birns, director of the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs. He said Citgo officials probably recommended the cost-saving measure to Chavez in the first place, but the impact may not have sunk in until the president saw the reaction."

The Associated Press

President George W. Bush`s response to the death and devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, was to do a quick photop flyby at 25,000 feet. Meanwhile on the ground death and chaos ruled under the inept leadership of FEMA Director Michael Brown. Nevertheless the equally clueless Dubya complimented Brown with his now infamous words: Brownie, you`re doing a heck of a job.

A few years ago when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez heard that poor Americans were freezing in the winter because they couldn`t afford heating oil, he did something about it. Chavez launched a program to donate free heating oil for low-income Americans, a remarkable gesture considering that Bush is his implacable foe.

Chavez, God bless his soul, has decided to continue this program in spite of the falling crude oil prices. I wish we had politicians in this country who would stick to their word, even if it costs them millions of dollars.

Some American critics of Chavez argue that he is only trying to make Bush look bad, but according to the AP article:

"Venezuela also ships fuel under highly favorable lending terms to countries across the Caribbean and Central America. Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez says that program, called Petrocaribe, will continue."

Chavez is a statesman and he is more Christ-like than most Christians, he ministers to the poor wherever they may be found. Viva Hugo Chavez.