Venezuela and Hugo Chavez

Yesterday’s pictures show the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as an active participant on the world stage. Since his election in 1999, he’s garnered a great deal of publicity and developed quite a swagger. I guess that happens when one is able to convince the National Assembly to end term limits to your office. The regime is openly socialist, though Chavez prefers the adjective democratic in front of that. Staged elections have a wonderful way of making world news.

There was a Venezuelan in the group of the tour in Italy. He was able to leave the country because he also has an Italian passport. At the end of ten days, I had a pretty good idea of what he had to do to survive his current situation. He loves Venezuela and showed us a book with photos of the remarkable and lush landscape. He also said the current leadership cashed out the resources for his personal gain and left the poor very poor. He acknowledged managing the poor and uneducated was a way for Chavez to maintain a firm grip on the country and his power.

At the risk of sounding alarmist, I’m going to remind you of something I’ve checked out with several sources. (My tour buddy, the spouse, the internet, and API.) When you buy your gasoline from CITGO, you are buying your gasoline from the Venezuelan government. Though the company has put together a “local ownership” advertising campaign, there’s no denying the gasoline revenue goes straight to Chavez’s pocket. It’s time these local owners see the writing on the wall and find another supplier. There are several gasoline options. Don’t let CITGO be one of your choices. (That’s particularly a change for me as CITGO’s world headquarters were in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We were customers for a long time.)

Think about it. Venezuela controls oil resources from American wells. They import export (My bad. Sorry about that.) over a million barrels of oil each day to the United States. It may make us proud to think of America the representative republic over Venezuela the democratic socialists, but folks, we keep Venezuela’s bank account full. It’s as much America’s fault as any that country has Chavez at the helm.

The photos I popped up yesterday have oil as a theme. Who has it, who wants it, who’s willing to be prostituted to get it.

Let’s put Britain on that list of hookers and talk about their Libyan pimp in the next post on the new world order.


  1. Okay, this is where I thought you were going. At the same time, the Citgo meme has been repeated over and over.

    I just don’t get how supporting Venevuela through Citgo is any worse than any other dictatorships our consumerism supports. Chavez is just the straw man in all this.

    He’s obviously not the kind of guy I would want to vote for, but I think it’s fair to say he’s also not the biggest fish in the proverbial barrel.

  2. Lorax, first, it’s not cool to say you thought this was where I was going after the fact.

    Next, so you think it’s a good idea to support Chavez?

    How does one make a change in our consumerism without starting somewhere? The second largest importer of oil to the United States is a big enough fish for me.

    Your response surprises me. And keep in mind, we’re just getting started on this one.

  3. Remember I said I wouldn’t vote for him. The eventual point that i’m getting to is that we, as a general rule, don’t boycott dictators who let us puppet them. Only the ones who try to stand up to the U.S.

    So, it’s less that I support him–or, on the whole, that I do or do not support certain dictatorial economies, but that I’m not satisfied with using Chavez as a beating post.

    I regard the Saudis and Israelis much more dangerous to world stability. Or Pakistan.

    If you want to trivialize my view, call me an isolationist.

  4. He must be a good guy. Didn’t Jimmy Carter validate his election results?

  5. No one saying he is a good guy.

  6. Cindy, you might want to take a second look at your fourth paragraph. What American oil wells does Venezuela controll and aren’t they an exporter to the US, not an importer?

    Chavez is a real dirt bag. Like so before him he has pandered to the very poor…a chicken in every pot, so to speak. South America has a rich tradition in that respect. And like those who have come and gone before him, he’ll probably wind up hanging in some square when he’s over thrown. But then, again, I never thought Castro would still blowing smoke rings at us nearly 50 years after he came out of the hills.

  7. I suppose I could have made my point more clearly. CITGO owns refining equipment in America. With that equipment, in addition to their own oil, there’s a blend of all the oils America uses including those pumped from wells in the states. That’s where there’s control. I made an assumption CITGO leases wells in the US. When I find it I’ll let you know.

    And yes, the US imports oil that Venezuela exports. They (Venezuela) cause imports to the US. I’ll change the word and see who else screams over the mistake.

  8. Unfortunately, the Citgo at Lisbon and Marcy Rd is often the cheapest gas in the area. It is usually 8-10 cents cheaper than the Open Pantry at Brookfield and Capitol.

  9. Thanks for the clarification. It read like you were suggesting that Venezuela was taking oil out of the US and selling it back. No screams here.

  10. No problem. It’s only my pride. 😉

  11. I always forget about the Lisbon and Marcy station. Whenever I’m in Elm Grove, I stop for gas at that Clark station. Is it a Clark anymore? Gas there was always cheaper.