Citgo backtracks on oil cutoff to the US poor

January 8, 2009

And today everyone was wondering why it was that CITGO backtracked on cutting off cheaper oil supplies to the US poor, which is distributed via Joe Kennedy’s Citizen Energy Corporation.

The press release two days ago by Citizen Energy certainly transmitted a feeling of being left out in the cold:

“Citizens Energy has recently been informed by CITGO that due to falling oil prices and the world economic crisis, CITGO has been forced to re-evaluate all their social programs, including the heating oil program, which has provided hundreds of thousands of low-income U.S. households with much-needed fuel these past three years.

I have reached out repeatedly to government officials in Venezuela at the highest levels, including former Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez and President Hugo Chavez.  While I have yet to receive any indication of their ultimate decision, I will continue to fight and advocate for a continuation of this critical assistance for our most vulnerable citizens.

As you all know, I oppose this program and was actually surprised it was the first one to be cutoff, since it is the cheapest one in terms of cost of Chavez’ cheaper oil aid programs to other countries. In fact, I was wondering how priorities were going to be managed, since cutting Kennedy off (He makes about 400,000 grand a year as President of this noble cause for himself) was certainly going to have a bigger splash than for example, asking PetroCaribe nations to pay up 75% rather than 50% up front.

But the impact must have been felt and today CITGO backtracked and Kennedy apparently managed to reach out to someone and solve his problem. Thus, as Venezuelans are being asked to tighten their pants, their imports get more expensive as the Government reduces items that receive dollars at the official rate of exchange and the country’s reserves are threatened, Chavez once again, establishes politics as his main priority.

What else is new?

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