Fish Or Man

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Spark Your Interest?

Via K-house enews:

"The Venezuelan-owned oil company Citgo has announced plans to provide cheap heating fuel to low-income communities in Boston, Chicago, and New York. According to the Boston Globe daily, the deal is the result of negotiations initiated by William Delahunt of Massachusetts, a Democrat in the House of Representatives, who brokered the deal with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The non-profit organization involved in distributing the fuel, Citizens Energy Corporation, was founded by Joseph Kennedy II, a liberal activist and son of the late senator Robert F. Kennedy.

The fact that someone like Chavez is taking an interest in helping America's underprivileged should raise red flags. After all, Chavez dealings with the United States have been anything but diplomatic. Make no mistake, this latest maneuver is not an act of charity. It is a calculated political maneuver to buy influence among members of congress. He has made similar deals in neighboring countries as a means of strengthening ties and supporting those with similar ideals. In Nicaragua, for example, Chavez has proposed oil sales at below market price to political leaders with socialist leanings.

Over the last year, foreign relations between the United States and Venezuela have steadily gotten worse. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused Washington of plotting to overthrow his government. He has also accused Christian missionaries from New Tribes Missions (NTM) of spying for the CIA. Venezuela's interior ministry has given Americans with NTM three months to leave the country. NTM has repeatedly denied accusations of wrongdoing in Venezuela and has urged Chavez to reconsider.

Before President Chavez came to power in 1998, oil-rich Venezuela was a wealthy nation and one of South America's oldest democracies. This wealth attracted a large influx of poor immigrants from neighboring Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and the Caribbean. The poor became increasingly resentful of the wealthy and middle class. Chavez, who had been imprisoned for a failed coup in 1992 but was later released, became the champion of the poor during the 1998 elections.

Chavez, an avowed socialist, won the election with 56 percent of the vote. He immediately embraced Cuba's communist leader, Fidel Castro, as Venezuela's chief ally. He also called Iraq's Saddam Hussein his "brother" and aligned himself with Libya's Moammar Qadaffi. Chavez then formed alliances with North Korea's Kim Yong-Il and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Venezuela is one of the founding members of OPEC and is strongly aligned with the Islamic oil producing nations of the Middle East. President Hugo Chavez has repeatedly defended Iran in its dispute with the United States and Europe over its nuclear program, saying Iran has a right to atomic energy.

Venezuela is emerging as a potential hub of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere, providing assistance to Islamic radicals from the Middle East and other terrorists. Middle Eastern terrorist groups are operating cells in Venezuela, including support cells for organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Thousands of Venezuelan identity documents are being distributed to foreigners from Middle Eastern nations, including Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, and Lebanon.

Our dependence on foreign oil, the effect of political instability on the world energy market, and the infiltration of Islamic radicals into South America are serious concerns. Although the situation in Venezuela has been largely overshadowed by events in the Middle East, it still poses a serious threat to the interests and security of the United States. "

Related Links:

Venezuela to sell cheap fuel oil to US poor - AFP
Give Thanks to America's 'Nemesis': Cheap Oil for America's Poor - ABC News
Venezuela's Undermining of Democracy - US State Department
Talk of U.S. plots against Chavez stir concern, doubt in Venezuela - San Diego Union-Tribune
Venezuela orders US religious group out - Sydney Morning Herald

Once again, brought to you via K-House Enews.