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Wednesday, November 23, 2005 

Venezuela To Give Discount Oil to Massachusetts (Charity or Reward?)

QUINCY, Mass. (AP) Thousands of low-income Massachusetts residents will receive discounted home heating oil this winter under an agreement signed Tuesday with Venezuela. Citgo, the Houston-based subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company, will supply oil at 40 percent below market prices. It will be distributed by two nonprofit organizations, Citizens Energy Corp. and the Mass Energy Consumer Alliance.

U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., met with Chavez in August and helped broker the deal. He said his constituents' needs for heating assistance trump any political points the Chavez administration can score.

Chavez has become one of Latin America's most vocal critics of U.S.-style capitalism, which he calls a major cause of poverty. U.S.

Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks. The US “poor” are still living better than Venezuela’s virtually non-existent middle class (11.5% Unemployment rate as of Sep, 2005 and 53.1% of households in poverty as of 2004). Also, I can’t help but feel that this current bout of philanthropy is meant to be a “reward” to the most liberal state in the Union. Oil for politics anyone?