Sunday, April 16, 2006

Breaking imperial ties: Venezuela and ALBA

In late 2005, while war raged in the Middle East and oil prices rose drastically, governments and oil companies repeated the “market forces” mantra, saying there was nothing they could do about oil prices. However, the Venezuelan government-owned US-based petrol distribution company Citgo (with eight refineries and 14,000 petrol stations across the US) decided to discount up to 10% of its US sales, so that poor families in cold-weather US states could have access to heating oil over the northern winter. Citgo sold over 40 million gallons of oil to 150,000 poor US households at a 40% discount.