Your friendly neighborhood Citgo station is really the branch office of Venezuelan strong man Hugo Chavez’s government: The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of El Loco’s state oil company. Having recognized the connection, 7-Eleven Inc. is dropping Citgo as its gasoline supplier at more than 2,100 of its stores. .
Alex Baker, chief executive of AIG Baker Shopping Center Properties LLC, said his company would no longer patronize Citgo. Florida state Rep. Adam Hasner is exploring banning Citgo stations from the Florida Turnpike.
Chavez recently called President Bush the "devil" at the United Nations; he said the lectern smelled of sulfur after Bush used it for his own speech to the General Assembly. But, more to the point, El Loco is trying meddling in elections across Latin America — hoping to create more anti-American allies.
At home, he has gradually eroded civil liberties and now threatens to run the nation for the next 20 years.
He buys popularity in Venezuela by distributing massive amounts of oil revenues to the poor. While careful to keep them in poverty by repelling business and deterring foreign investment, he uses his petrol wealth to distribute free food and to pay for imported Cuban doctors in the barrios.
Yet a goodly proportion of his revenue comes from us when we buy our gasoline at a Citgo station. Why continue to subsidize the Chavez regime and its anti-American activity? That is a question each of us must answer each time we gas up.
Yes, indeed, this is a question you must answer–but not the way this piece of propaganda would have you do. Why? Because as usual, Dick Morris is full of well-financed right-wing lies.
Firstly, 7-11 did NOT cancel the service contract with CITGO; it was the other way around. Turns out that the contract was costing CITGO money that they would rather have put to good use, like helping the people of Venezuela and the many impoverished Americans in the good ol’ US of A who have benefited from the cheap-oil program. (Oops, there goes that “anti-American” charge. D’oh!)
Plus there’s the fact that under Chavez and Rafael Ramirez, the head of PDVSA (CITGO’s parent company), the profits are way up–even with all the oil giveaways and the waste that the 7-11 contract was generating! Oh, those wacky socialists–their hard-headed, soft-hearted policies are so bad for business!
Then there’s the “eroded civil liberties” hogwash–easily debunked by a simple read through the Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela, which offended the right-wing oligarchy AND the Catholic church by being too civil-libertarian for their collective liking!
And how about that “threatening to remain in power for the next 20 years”? Some threat–he’s actually putting it to a referendum to remove the term limits from the presidency, so the people can decide whether they want to elect whomever they like for however long they like! And if it just so happens to be him again and again for the next 20 years, well–what’s so bad about that? He’s done his country a world of good. Far from driving away foreign investment, as Morris insists, Chavez has actually increased it–and this has not kept Venezuelans poor, but is helping them out of poverty at an astonishing rate, because the money is being plowed into Venezuela and not back into oilmen’s coffers. A feat which, I might add, his conservative opponents couldn’t bring themselves to accomplish in the 40-odd years they remained in power. Under the Puntofijistas, Venezuela suffered an economic decline even worse than Africa’s. Chavez is reversing that with policies that actually seem to hit the mark! If this is merely “buying popularity”, as the Dickster calls it, then let’s have more of it. It sure as hell works better than trickle-down economics. (Never ask what trickles down. And plug your nose, the smell is atrocious.)
And speaking of atrocious smelling trickle-downs: this dude is not only a toe-sucker, he’s also an election fucker. Funny that he should mention Chavez “meddling” in Latin American elections–get a load of what Dick Morris did in Mexico! Hmmm…project much? At least Chavez confined himself to merely speaking ill of candidates he didn’t like–and there’s no law against that. But I’m pretty sure that what Dick Morris and Rob Allyn did was not legal in Mexico!
It’s no wonder that the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz has written: “Morris’s finger-in-the-eye approach is that of a political operative, not a journalist, since he often hurls charges without proof.” This is one of ’em, folks. And with the Right Wing Noise Machine squarely behind him, paying him unreal sums of money for easy-to-debunk but seldom challenged drivel like this, I sadly don’t see it ending anytime soon.
Who’s the prostitute now, eh Dick?