Ads for Citgo gasoline touting its connections with Venezuela?: Is this serious?

I was just watching Meet the Press where there was an ad pushing Citgo gasoline stations and its relationship to Venezuela. It was a little stunning to see an ad pointing to ties to Venezuela as a strength for a gasoline company. I did a search and came across websites trying to get Americans to buy Citgo gas because Citgo is owned by Venezuela. A Marxist dictator who is brutally killing his own people being held up as a positive reason to buy gasoline? Here is one example:

Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations.
And tell your friends.

Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is Hugo Chavez. Call him "the Anti-Bush."

Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. . . .

UPDATE: I have gotten some of the wierdest messages ever after I made this post, and they have defended Chavez and saying that the people in Venezula know the truth: "where people actually know what's going on." Here are some examples of Chavez's behavior:

1) Cardinal Lara had this to say: “A government that was elected democratically seven years ago, has lost its democratic course and presents a face of dictatorship, where all of the powers of government are practically in the hands of a single person, who exercises them arbitrarily and despotically.”

2) The intensity of Chavez’s anti-Americanism is matched only by his zealous campaign against democracy at home. The most basic democratic pillar of free speech is in critical condition as Chavez supporters recently enacted a law which criminalized anti-government dissent; banging pots against the road is now a quick way for a Venezuelan citizen to be thrown in jail. The private press, constantly derided by President Chavez as defying “public order”, is now neutered by yet another presidential edict which allows the government to shut down news organizations without explanation or review. These methods are all part of Chavez’s “Bolivarian” political philosophy, which represents a dangerous amalgamation of Maoist-Marxist-populist dogma. Groups of pro-Chavez thugs dubbed “Bolivarian circles” have been recruited to intimidate, assault, and even kill enemies of his “Bolivarian revolution”. In a final step towards absolute power, the Venezuelan supreme court, stacked with a majority of 17 Chavez appointed judges, has hinted at its willingness to alter the ragged constitution even further, this time in order to declare Chavez “President for Life”.

3) The "presidential guards are responsible for the shooting of unarmed protesters." See also Chavez's supporters did "open fire" on opposition rallies.

4) The link here also discusses the disappearance and murder of opposition leaders, and how the government held a press conference to attack the dead man filled with many false claims about how he had died.

5) A summary of points can be found here.


Anonymous Diego Enrique Finol said...

"A Marxist dictator who is brutally killing his own people" Please! I don't know what democratic country YOU live in, but Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was elected by the people of this Nation because they approve of what he does. Countries like the USA don't like him, duh, so they make up stories about how he's a monster, a murderer, a thief or just plain stupid. It's what the US does with ANYONE who doesn't support America's economical terrorism. And people buy it, people believe Chávez is all those things... It's easy to believe anything when you're thousands of miles away. How about we start respecting other people's opinion, and stop lying our asses off just to make people believe there's a black-and-white truth to everything? Chávez is supported by MANY (that's why he's an ELECTED and CONFIRMED President, by a system even more democratic than the American one! Venezuelans can chose to end a Presiden't term at the middle of his Presidential Period. Venezuean Opposition tried to do so with Chávez, and lost). Chávez also has many people who are opposed to his politics. So, if there's no black-and-white in Venezuela, where people actually know what's going on, how can America (and other nations) pretend to know leave it at "We're good. He's bad".

"A Marxist dictator who is brutally killing his own people". Right, now there's a good laugh.

5/07/2006 2:18 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Well, possibly you have an explanation for the various references that I make in the post.

5/08/2006 2:19 AM  
Anonymous Diego Enrique Finol said...

In deed, I've read all those things and worse. If you want, I can also write things about you. If I had enough money, I could even invest in a newspaper, and write whatever I fell like in it about you. As you can understand, Chávez is a not a friend of everyone. There are many who don't agree with him, as I said before. These people are mainly (though not limited to) the highest classes in Venezuelan society, including those who control the media. Those who have that kind of money don't exactly need the aid Chávez provides the people who live in poverty (which is over 60%). Instead (as all greedy human beings, myself included) they want to keep getting richer and richer in a liberal economy that did nothing to protect that 60% of the Nation.

If I had no morals and stole candy from a baby, because I just looove popsicles, and continued doing so for decades, and suddenly someone steps up and prevents me from doing so, I'd talk trash about him too, and do everything in my power to get him out of my way.

The high class that detests Chávez (What's he ever done for them? what do they need?) thus controls the media -which is a major political weapon, capable of manipulating millions- and only shows anti-Chavist propaganda.

If you want, I'm sure you can find a Chavist quote for each anti-Chavist quote.

Take you website, you only published anti-Chavist quotes because you agree with them,a dn you want other people to follow your beliefs. The exact same thing happens with the media in Venezuela.

Anyways, It's up to each person to form their own opinion, but, as I said before, nothing is black and white. Except maybe dominoes.

5/08/2006 8:41 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Apparently neither you nor Chavez understand that you just shouldn't shut down newspapers because you disagree with them. Newspapers sell because people want to read them, not just because some wealthy people own them. Someone who shuts down newspapers and television stations because they report news that the government disagrees with is a dictator. Unfortunately, you don't seem to see this.

Similarly, you just can't order troops to fire on unarmed peaceful demonstrators because the demonstration is by people who oppose your policies. This is true even if the demonstrators are wealthy individuals and you dislike them. Again, I am disappointed that you don't understand that.

5/08/2006 8:53 PM  
Blogger Harles said...

It never ceases to amaze me how people from the Ministry of Information (Like Diego Enrique Finol here) scan the net for anything that shines the light of truth on their beloved dictators, and promptly try to stamp it out. Keep holding up the light, Dr. Lott. We love to see.

5/11/2006 12:02 PM  

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