This little piece of GOP Astroturf has been circulating through people’s email inboxes for a few weeks now and my father-in-law sent it on to my wife:
Cindy & Chavez
Venezuela Dictator Vows To Bring Down U.S. Government
Venezuela government is sole owner of Citgo gasoline company
Venezuela Dictator Hugo Chavez has vowed to bring down the U.S. government. Chavez, president of Venezuela, told a TV audience: “Enough of imperialist aggression; we must tell the world: down with the U.S. empire. We have to bury imperialism this century.”
The guest on his television program, beamed across Venezuela, was Cindy Sheehan, the antiwar activist. Chavez recently had as his guest Harry Belafonte, who called President Bush “the greatest terrorist in the world.”
Chavez is pushing a socialist revolution and has a close alliance with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Regardless of your feelings about the war in Iraq, the issue here is that we have a socialist dictator vowing to bring down the government of the U.S And he is using our money to achieve his goal!
The Venezuela government, run by dictator Chavez, is the sole owner of Citgo gas company.
Sales of products at Citgo stations send money back to Chavez to help him in his vow to bring down our government.
Please decide that you will not be shopping at a Citgo station. Why should U.S. citizens who love freedom be ï¬nancing a dictator who has vowed to take down our government?
Very important. Please forward this to your friends and family. Most of them don’t know that Citgo is owned by the Venezuela government.
To which my wife replied:
He was elected by a landslide by the people of the Democratic republic of Venezuela. He has angered a lot of US private companies and politicans in the government by taking away their proï¬t from the oil they were exporting out of the country only giving back 10%. He may say stupid things, but so has Bush. But he is trying to do what is best for his country in keeping the money to create social reform which is so badly needed. He isn’t hurting our country by doing this, he’s hurting the private companies run by CEO’s who are making huge proï¬ts from his country and who have the US government giving them tax breaks because of the “oil crisis”, eventhough, they released reports showing a 30% proï¬t this year.
Of course there are a lot of people in the US who want us to believe that he is a crazed lunatic. Of course he is, he is thinking of the social welfare of his people who have been taken advantage by their government and ours for years. This is not a capitalistic way of thinking, which is proï¬t for proï¬t sakes. Lay off your workers, but hire new CEOs. I would rather buy from CITGO than from BP, who knew about the problem in the pipeline in Alaska for years, but never addressed it until it cracked.
Don’t believe everything on the internetâ€¦there is always two sides to everything.
Chavez has, like most people of power, a strange and sometimes bewildering mixture of good intentions and completely absurd rhetoric. Calling Bush the Devil at the UN was a little over the top. Bush is mendacious, despicable, and a god damned liar but the devil he is not and we don’t need overheated religious imagery to make this point clear. But Chavez is very religious and that sort of hyperbole is innate to the religious mindset. But he is not trying to undermine the US government, just point out that Bush is bad for our country, something he and Sheehan (and myself and thousands of others) have in common. So yeah, if you think that US oil companies should pad their own wallets at the expense of the welfare of both US and Venezuelan people, than sure, boycot Citgo. But realize that your doing so, not as a patriot or a Christian but as a tool of Big Oil and the Bush Administration’s greed.