It was with some sense of satisfaction I read that Venezuelan-owned Citgo was starting to feel some backlash as a result of Hugo Chavez’ repeated denunciations of the United States and his new alliance with rogue nations like Iran and Cuba.
Since Chavez’s speeches from the podium of the United Nations and a New York City church, momentum for a boycott against Citgo has been building. In those speeches, Chavez called President Bush “the devil” and “an alcoholic and a sick man.”
One sentence in the report leapt out at me:
“Analysts say they do not expect anti-Chavez sentiment to have a lasting impact on Citgo’s bottom line, since gasoline consumers typically put price above principles and face a difficult task choosing a gas brand that does not have political or ethical baggage.”
It leapt out at me because it was true. We don’t put price ahead of principles. Wal-Mart is the most obvious example.
Wal-Mart’s business relationship with China has never affected its bottom line, since that relationship gives Wal-Mart the cheapest prices. Of course, while China is a threat to America’s long-term security, long-term security threats last only as long as the current regime does. It isn’t like Wal-Mart is working with Iran, for example.
Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela is a threat NOW. And Citgo’s petro-dollars are helping to fund that threat.
At its October meeting, OPEC agreed to cut back production to keep the price of oil high, shooting for somewhere around $60 a barrel. The new price was suggested by Hugo Chavez.
At $60 a barrel, the balance of power shifts from the Middle East to Venezuela. Venezuela has vast deposits of extra-heavy oil in the Orinoco. But extra-heavy oil was always too expensive to extract. So it doesn’t count when calculating the world’s proven oil reserves.
But at $60 a barrel, melting the heavy oil into liquid petroleum becomes highly profitable. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, at $60 a barrel, Venezuela suddenly owns the largest proven oil reserves in the world. Taking the heavy oil into account, Venezuela has more oil than the entire Middle East combined. With the newly designated reserves, the DoE estimates that Venezuela now controls 1.3 trillion barrels of oil.
That is more than all the declared oil reserves on the planet put together!
Venezuela’s deposits alone could extend the oil age for another 100 years. Hugo Chavez is raking in some $200 million a day in oil sales, most of it from the United States. Chavez uses that money to buy influence and to oppose the U.S.
Chavez’s former pilot defected to the U.S., WND reported in 2003.
Diaz says Chavez transferred $1 million to the Taliban through Venezuelan Ambassador Walter Marquez in New Delhi. Of the sum, $900,000 was designated for al-Qaida and $100,000 for the Taliban then in power in Afghanistan. Diaz said that Chavez sent the aid to open a direct channel of communication with al-Qaida.
“It was a way of telling Osama bin Laden that he had a friend in Hugo Chavez,” he said, according to the website MilitaresDemocraticos.com. Since then, Chavez has been supplying terrorists with Venezuelan passports. That’s according to a report of the subcommittee on investigations of the House Homeland Security Committee. The report, “A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border,” says terrorists are using the Venezuelan documents to enter the United States.
In August, an Afghani man was found swimming across the Rio Grande River in Hidalgo, Texas.
In another instance, Border Patrol agents found a discarded jacket in the desert bearing patches from Arab countries. One of the patches showed an airliner crashing into the World Trade Center. Chavez is turning Venezuela into a staging area for terrorism.
And he is using our own money to pay for it.
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