Thursday, May 25, 2006

If you've got to buy gas, buy it from Venezuela. BUY CITGO, FOR PEACE AT THE PUMP

If you've got to buy gas, buy it from Venezuela. We're always being asked to boycott this or boycott that. Gasoline is one of the commodities that very few people can boycott. But you can pick the gas station you do business with. Venezuela's state-owned oil industry refines petroleum in the United States and sells it as gasoline at 14,000 Citgo service stations. That's C-I-T-G-O. When you buy gas from Citgo, you're supporting Venezuela's policy of using its oil resources to benefit the people of that country. President Hugo Chavez has also struck favorable agreements with the nations of the Caribbean, allowing them to pay much of their oil bills over 25 years at just one percent interest. Chavez's government trades oil for the services of thousands of Cuban doctors, who have brought health care to Venezuela's poor majority, many for the first time in their lives. And he has set aside ten percent of Venezuela's refined oil to be sold at cut rate prices for the benefit of the poor in nations all over the world, including the United States. Tens of millions of gallons of Venezuelan oil is heating the homes of the poor in New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

None of this would have happened if the United States-backed coup against Chavez had succeeded, in 2002. By now, Venezuela's oil fields would have been privatized, and a rightwing dictatorship would rule by death squads – all with the approval of Washington and the oil billionaires. When you buy gasoline from Citgo, it'll still cost you, but at least you won't be giving your money to the corporations that support the Bush regime's wars against humanity. In fact, a portion of your Citgo gasoline tab will go towards subsidizing sanity, regional cooperation, and the quest for peace on the planet. On the other hand, when you buy from American-based oil companies, a chunk of your money winds up in George Bush's campaign machinery, rightwing think tanks, and billionaires' mansions.

Since the Buy Citgo campaign was launched last year, Bush's rightwing allies have organized a boycott of Citgo gas stations. They've sent tens of thousands of emails to Citgo's headquarters in Houston, saying they won't spend money with someone who wants to bring down the U.S. government. Well, if the "government" means George Bush, that's a very good reason for good people to line up at Citgo's pumps. You can find your local Citgo by Googling the words "Citgo gas stations." Spend your money where it does some good. For Radio BC, I'm Glen Ford.