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> Chavez to target northern poor with cheap oil, This is great isn't it?
Eeyore
post Nov 24 2005, 05:17 PM
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QUOTE
-- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez strengthened his Latin American ties with generous oil deals that he is now extending north to the United States, with plans to ship cheap heating oil to low-income people in New York and Massachusetts.

Venezuela's Citgo Petroleum Corp. made a symbolic first delivery to a Boston-area family this week. Shipments are due to reach tens of thousands families starting next month, and hospitals, homeless shelters and other facilities in needy communities also are in line to get oil.


Chavez brings oil diplomacy to U.S.

There are critics claiming this is a cheap political stunt. Those in favor and against seem to agree this is an attempted cheap shot at the president.


Questions for debate:

Do you support Chavez and Citgo in this endeavor?

Is it a political stunt, and if so should it be discouraged?

Will this help the United States this year?
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Dontreadonme
post Nov 24 2005, 05:53 PM
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Do you support Chavez and Citgo in this endeavor?
Cheap heating oil is certainly a nice gift for low income families. And on one hand I'm inclined to say why not get all we can while we can get it. As long as we don't lose sight of the big picture (see below).

Is it a political stunt, and if so should it be discouraged?
It's a political stunt all right, one to attempt to boost Chavez's public image in the US and abroad, while lining the pockets of the Venezuelan government.
We get approximately 34% of our oil from Venezuela, which is more then from the Middle East. Simultaneously, Chavez has allowed sanctuary and assistance to narco-terrorists in Columbia, specifically the Arauca Province, home to an Occidental Petroleum pipeline. The Venezuelan military assists FARC and ELN in sabotaging the pipeline with some frequency.
Chavez, who has spoken out in support for Castro and Saddam Hussein, has also been linked by intelligence reports to Hamas and Hezbollah, providing them sanctuary on the island of Margarita. Do we really want to do business with this guy? Obviously a sane energy policy would mitigate this threat somewhat, but the fact remains, Chavez is no friend to the US. The deeper in bed we get with him economically, the more vulnerable we will become.
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smorpheus
post Nov 24 2005, 07:00 PM
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QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Nov 24 2005, 09:53 AM)
Chavez, who has spoken out in support for Castro


OK, so does Nelson Mendela, someone readily percieved as a hero and a great leader almost universally in the United States.

QUOTE
and Saddam Hussein,


I really tried to find a quote of this support. I saw he met with Saddam, and spoke out in support of Iraq, but couldn't find any direct quotes to this effect. I'm wondering if you have any info to back this up. There are many who are critical of the Iraq Invasion and Sanctions but are not supportive of Saddam Hussein.

QUOTE
has also been linked by intelligence reports to Hamas and Hezbollah, providing them sanctuary on the island of Margarita.


Hmm.. The same type of intelligence that faired so well in the preview to the Iraq War? Again, I couldn't find this information. I know it's T-G so you probably didn't have time to link sources, but its hard to debate this.

I think it's a bit hypocritical to place our own government at a moral high-ground above Chavez. Almost everything he has been accused of doing could also be applied with a level-head to the United States during the last two adminsitrations, with the added bonus that he hasn't started a war with anyone(I say almost, because I think the extent of the censorship accusations and political improsnment would be difficultto parrell with the US, but as conservatives liked to say with Scooter and Delay, these are just accusations, the jury's not in on any of them). I think it's almost inevitable he's going to be reelected and the US is going to have to deal with him for a long, long time.

Chavez has made a first-step towards increasing US Diplomacy, hopefully we can take the branch and run with it. Even if it is just symbolic, it's an act of good will.

We need oil, and dealing peacefully with Chavez is I think, a lot safer than trying to covert Iran, Iraq, and Syria into democracies halfway across the world.
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Dontreadonme
post Nov 24 2005, 07:39 PM
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QUOTE(smorpheus @ Nov 24 2005, 01:00 PM)
 
 
QUOTE
has also been linked by intelligence reports to Hamas and Hezbollah, providing them sanctuary on the island of Margarita. 


Hmm.. The same type of intelligence that faired so well in the preview to the Iraq War? Again, I couldn't find this information. I know it's T-G so you probably didn't have time to link sources, but its hard to debate this.

I'll start with this one for now. The existence of Hamas and Hezbollah in the region has been widely known for some years now.

SOUTHCOM Commander General James T. Hill's testimony before congress.

Testimony of Dr. Matthew Levitt before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

US New and World Report article "Terror Close to Home"

I assumed this was widely known, so I didn't bring sources into the original post.

QUOTE(smorpheus Today @ 01:00 PM)
I really tried to find a quote of this support. I saw he met with Saddam, and spoke out in support of Iraq, but couldn't find any direct quotes to this effect. I'm wondering if you have any info to back this up. There are many who are critical of the Iraq Invasion and Sanctions but are not supportive of Saddam Hussein.


From The Times:
Capitalism: “The Devil’s economic model . . . The capitalist exploitation model has destroyed oceans, entire oceans”

Saddam Hussein: “A brother”


QUOTE
As Mr Chavez grew more powerful, his critics said he was leading Venezuela towards a Cuban-style authoritarian government. He was also criticised for courting countries which attracted US or international disapproval, namely Cuba, Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Libya.

Link

This post has been edited by Dontreadonme: Nov 24 2005, 07:48 PM
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nighttimer
post Nov 24 2005, 08:15 PM
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QUOTE(Eeyore @ Nov 24 2005, 12:17 PM)
Questions for debate:

Do you support Chavez and Citgo in this endeavor?

Is it a political stunt, and if so should it be discouraged?

Will this help the United States this year?


1. Sure, why not? With heating oil prices going thru the roof AND the Republican controlled Congress cutting home heating programs, what difference does it make to a poor person where they get their heat from? Citgo is a company now owned by Venzuela and since Pat Robertson (who called for Hugo Chavez to be assassinated) isn't going out of his way to provide help for the poor this winter, what's so bad about a country America deals with lending a hand?

2. If it's a stunt to make Bush look like he doesn't care about the poor, it's a pretty effective one. The Bush Admininstration opposed a plan to tax American oil companies and force them to provide cheaper heating oil. Of course Chavez is tweaking Bush. So what? Making Dubya look stupid doesn't mean much to someone when they're cold and can't afford to heat their home.

3. If you live in Boston or New York, it probably will. If you're working in the Bush Administration, it probably won't.

dry.gif
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whyshouldi
post Nov 24 2005, 10:13 PM
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Those people that buy or recieve the oil will be happy for that, but they cannot vote for someone in a different country. Also, they are poor, so I doubt for them to send much aid his way for elections. I think this might just be taking a wrong spin because its almost like the U.S getting aid. blink.gif


Now will this get support from Americans overall, I cant know that right now... Even though, maybe it is just a gesture of good will, it can happen. As for political clashings, if the person hated us so much, I doubt for him to do much save charge more for oil. I can't make any political manuverings out of this.

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smorpheus
post Nov 25 2005, 02:37 AM
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QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Nov 24 2005, 11:39 AM)
QUOTE(smorpheus @ Nov 24 2005, 01:00 PM)
 
 
QUOTE
has also been linked by intelligence reports to Hamas and Hezbollah, providing them sanctuary on the island of Margarita. 


Hmm.. The same type of intelligence that faired so well in the preview to the Iraq War? Again, I couldn't find this information. I know it's T-G so you probably didn't have time to link sources, but its hard to debate this.

I'll start with this one for now. The existence of Hamas and Hezbollah in the region has been widely known for some years now.

SOUTHCOM Commander General James T. Hill's testimony before congress.

Testimony of Dr. Matthew Levitt before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

US New and World Report article "Terror Close to Home"

I assumed this was widely known, so I didn't bring sources into the original post.


I definitely concede calling a Saddam a brother is not looking good, but for all I know it could be taken completly out of context. A brother in what? I would say they're brother's in resistance to US Imperialsim. This would also include anyone who thinks outside of the capitlist model.

The rest of your links basically provide evidence of investigations. But as I stated, there is no solid proof that I have seen that Chavez is courting Al Qaeda, Saddam as an Ally, or Columbian Terrorist groups. I think we need a bit more than "where there's smoke there's fire" to condemn Chavez as the despot you've classified him as in your first post.

I'm completely open-minded about this. If you can find some sort of article which goes beyond sending vague intelligence accusations, I'd be more than willing to admit Chavez is an enemy, but right now the only evidence I have seen is that Chavez has been adament about his disapproval of the Bush Administration's policies. The US Government has always been against socliast inspired governments so its hard for me to take these accusations seriously without some sort of substantial evidence.

Can you imagine how bad this looks to the poor to have Chavez stepping in to help the poor before the US Government? Political tactic or no, it's extremely smart, and in my opinion progress to not only diplomatic relations, but also in forcing our government to get something done about trimming the fat off of these obese oil companies.

I think almost everyone agrees that it's morally reprehensible to see these oil companies raking in the kind of profits they are, while raking the public for prices quickly approcahing 200% of what they were a year ago.

This post has been edited by smorpheus: Nov 25 2005, 02:40 AM
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moif
post Nov 25 2005, 03:13 AM
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Do you support Chavez and Citgo in this endeavor?

In lowering prices? Hell yeah! w00t.gif
I never look a gift rocket in the tubes!


Is it a political stunt, and if so should it be discouraged?

Everything ever done by a politician is a political stunt. Politicians don't do anything unless it makes them look good or they have no other choice. If we were to start discouraging politicians from making such stunts on the basis they come from other countries then I'm afraid there are going to be some sour faces in Beijjing.


Will this help the United States this year?

No.

It might help out some poor families but that won't mean anything o the nation as a whole.

I think I might be with whyshouldi on this since I can't see what Chavez hopes to gain by it. hmmm.gif ermm.gif
If he's really angling for support from the lowest levels of the American population then whats his goal with that? Is he trying to undermine GW Bush? The American oil industry? I don't know.

I suppose its possible that he is really trying to offer a hand to people he regards as oppressed, but that seems a bit strange given that his own country is not exactly a paradise on Earth.

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AuthorMusician
post Nov 25 2005, 07:11 AM
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Do you support Chavez and Citgo in this endeavor?

It's something. It's more than the present administration would ever do, dependingt instead on the general generosity of folks through things like paying extra on heating bills to support poverty programs. I use to do that, but then I use to be steadily employed with full bennies.

Things, they have been a-changing.

Is it a political stunt, and if so should it be discouraged?

How can it be discouraged? Chavez must have control over the prices charged, or he has influence on people with the control. He's entering the market with a 40% discount. He's doing this across Latin America too. But it's not like he's giving away the heating oil.

Seems that the point trying to be made is that Chavez has more control over the cost of energy than Bush. But we already knew that. We also know that the Republican-controlled Senate will not swear in oil executives when they are called to testify about price-gouging. Oil execs set energy prices in the US, Chavez sets them in Venezualea. Chavez has to answer to his people. Oil execs have to answer to their shareholders.

Socialism versus capitalism, that's the point. I doubt it'll change anything permanently.

Will this help the United States this year?

Sure, some households. We have natural gas heat, so we have to pay whatever the going rate is, and that rate is set by -- a mysterious formula that involves dart boards or something.
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nebraska29
post Nov 26 2005, 12:58 AM
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[b]Questions for debate:

QUOTE
Do you support Chavez and Citgo in this endeavor?

I do believe that it is a good thing. Anytime that you can have trade with another nation and when nations make good gestures to you, that opens the door in a lot of ways in terms of negotiations and conflict resolution. With our current president coming off of a failed visit to south america and asia, it's about time someone else stepped to the plate and didn't just issue threats and demans at others.

QUOTE
Is it a political stunt, and if so should it be discouraged?


It is a stunt, but it shows what his philosphy is. Is it always so bad that someone in that country isn't the lackey of the wealthiest families in that country who only care for themselves? Perhaps if they themselves were more generous, the likes of Chavez wouldn't have been elevated to power in the first place.

QUOTE
Will this help the United States this year?


In two ways-economically yes, with winter heating oil to go up a lot, this will help mitigate that negative event. Even more largely, it is a good diplomatic gesture that if the president were wise, he'd seek to negotiate and to meet Chavez half-way on certain issues. Send Jesse Jackson and see what happens.
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Fma
post Nov 26 2005, 08:12 PM
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QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Nov 26 2005, 02:58 AM)
It is a stunt, but it shows what his philosphy is.  Is it always so bad that someone in that country isn't the lackey of the wealthiest families in that country who only care for themselves?  Perhaps if they themselves were more generous, the likes of Chavez wouldn't have been elevated to power in the first place. 


Chavez can be considered much better than some other despots US has supported in the past. Take Pinochet for an example. Also remind yourself who armed and funded Osama during the Cold War. There will continue to be dictators as long as there are "superpowers" to support them for their gains. None of these people assume power by pure luck.

Besides, your philosophy can apply both ways. The US Military/Industrial Complex was the cause of (Along with the Soviets) most of the third-world wars. If the two sides had spent a small fraction of that effort to eliminate poverty rather than to fill their pockets, the world could have been a much better place.
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Ted
post Dec 2 2005, 08:41 PM
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Questions for debate:

Do you support Chavez and Citgo in this endeavor?

Is it a political stunt, and if so should it be discouraged?

Will this help the United States this year?

*

[/quote]

Sure. If this left wing politico wants to give us a break on a little oil lets take it.

But it will have little effect on the US as a whole. Sine we are perhaps his biggest oil “customer” I would think we should expect this type of treatment. Of course it is little more than a political stunt.

Like all left wing governments, once the rhetoric wears off and the policies fail this man will be out of office just as others like him in Germany and elsewhere.

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