Monday, December 05, 2005

Chavez offers Americans cheap oil

Venezuala’s President, Hugo Chavez, continues to pose a threat to the United States and the Bush administration. The major threat obviously is the clear representation of what a government, concerned with the daily needs of people, might look like. Because his policies clearly contradict those of our so-called democracy, the corporately-controlled media must define his actions with the typical language of the elite they represent.

Using terms like “coup” and “marketing ploy” to describe Venezuela’s offer of cheap oil to Massachetts’ poor is an example of how the media spins information in an attempt to prop up America’s elite and powerful.

Venezuela's state-owned Citgo Petroleum Corp., promoted its plan to offer 12 million gallons of cut-rate oil this winter with the headline, “How Venezuela is Keeping the Home Fires Burning in Massachusetts.” Running ads in two of the nation’s major dailies (including The New York Times), the company trumpeted its largesse as “humanitarian aid” and “a simple act of generosity.” Typically, The Wall Street Journal, which masquerades as a newspaper, but is nothing more than an apologist for corporate policy, found fault with the program.

Taking to task both Representative William Delahunt (D-Massachusetts) and former Representative Joe Kennedy, for cooperating with Chavez, the paper found fault with their acceptance of aid from a dictator. Actually, I’m sure it had more to do with Chavez’ criticism and clear disdain for our own unelected president, George W. Bush, the spoiled former frat boy, turned leader of the free world.

Critics and other lackeys of the elite, are unable to see past their corporate loyalties and have branded Chavez’ actions as “a cynical ploy to score public relations points” and are designed to “tweak the Bush administration.”

Delahunt and Kennedy, whose Citizens Energy Corp. will help deliver the oil, counter that keeping poor people warm is their priority.

''I don't report to George Bush,'' Delahunt said at a news conference last week. ``I'm elected by the people here in Massachusetts. So I don't feel any particular need to consult with George Bush or Dick Cheney about oil.''

Other foreign suppliers of oil to the U.S. have authoritarian governments and are accused of human rights abuses, a Kennedy aide noted.

''If we applied a democratic screen to countries we get our oil from, we'd never have enough oil to heat our homes and drive our cars,'' said Kennedy's spokesman, Brian O'Connor.

Since our own U.S.-owned oil corporations, buddied up with both Bush and Cheney, are hell-bent on greater and greater profits at the expense of the American people, maybe The Wall Street Journal could turn their pens on their greed and disdain for the working class and the poor. I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen, however. When given the opportunity to put people before profit, during natural disasters and human misery, these robber barons jacked up prices quickly and unmercilessly.

The Bush junta and most of the current crop of politicians regularly show disdain for the needs and concerns of most Americans. It’s time that the working class and others outside the power belt recognize who our friends are. It sure isn’t our own government or those in the media who constantly excuse the fleecing of the American people, regularly and without end.

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