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