[News] Chavez Offers Cheap Gas to Poor in U.S.

Anti-Imperialist News News at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 25 12:24:20 EDT 2005


Published on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 by <http://www.reuters.com>Reuters
Chavez Offers Cheap Gas to Poor in U.S.
By David Pace


HAVANA, Cuba - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, popular with the poor at 
home, offered on Tuesday to help needy Americans with cheap supplies of 
gasoline.

"We want to sell gasoline and heating fuel directly to poor communities in 
the United States," the populist leader told reporters at the end of a 
visit to Communist-run Cuba.

Chavez did not say how Venezuela would go about providing gasoline to poor 
communities. Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA owns Citgo, which has 
14,000 gas stations in the United States.

The offer may sound attractive to Americans feeling pinched by soaring 
prices at the pump but not to the U.S. government, which sees Chavez as a 
left-wing troublemaker in Latin America.

Gasoline is cheaper than mineral water in oil-producing Venezuela, where 
consumers can fill their tanks for less than $2. Average gas prices have 
risen to $2.61 a gallon in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy 
Information Administration.

Chavez said Venezuela could supply gasoline to Americans at half the price 
they now pay if intermediaries who "speculated ... and exploited consumers" 
were cut out.

Venezuela supplies Cuba with generously financed oil and plans to help 
Caribbean nations foot their oil bills.

Chavez, in Cuba to attend the graduation of Cuban-trained doctors from 28 
countries, was seen off at the airport by Cuban President Fidel Castro. 
Washington has accused the two leaders of being a destabilizing influence 
in South America.

Chavez and Castro offered to give poor Americans free health care and train 
doctors free of charge.

© 2005 Reuters


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