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Congressman Jose Serrano discusses Bronx heating oil deal

December 7, 2005

Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY 16) wrote the following to Caracas Connect:

Yesterday I announced the details of a low-cost heating oil program along with CITGO CEO Felix Rodriguez and Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez and leaders of three non-profit housing corporations in the Bronx. Under the terms of this historic deal, CITGO will provide heating oil this winter to the three housing non-profits at 40 percent below market price. The non-profits, in turn, will have to pass the savings on to the residents of their buildings in the form of rent reductions, as well as building improvements and increased spending on their social programs.

This program is truly innovative and couldn't come at a better time. Heating prices are expected to be far above what they were last year, and with the cold of winter closing in, many people in my district and across the nation are going to be facing difficult financial circumstances. As I said to the press yesterday at the announcement and signing ceremony, it's shameful that no American oil company has offered to use any of their record-breaking profits to help the American people in this situation.

This program came out of President Hugo Chavez' visit to the Bronx this past September at my invitation. I invited him because I thought it was important for him to come and meet with real American people, who are also in a struggle for economic equality and social justice. He made the offer of this reduced price oil during that visit, and I immediately began to work to make it a reality.

I represent the poorest congressional district in the nation, in the midst of the richest city on earth-the juxtaposition is striking. I think that President Chavez saw that when he toured the district and genuinely wanted to help the people of the Bronx. The CITGO program does just that: it genuinely will help the people of the Bronx.

Some say that this heating oil is an attempt to score political points. The truth is that I welcome the help and I would welcome any other American corporation that wants to come here and score points.

Readers: What are your thoughts on CITGO's discounted oil offer to U.S. citizens? Please post your comments.


Blogger Krupa said...

Duh, it is to score political points... or are all those people living in shacks in the outskits of Caracas happy that Chavez is giving millions of dollars worth of oil to citizens of the richest country in the world?

good point that it would be nice if US oil companies did this. but anyone who thinks this is more than political showmanship is a little naive.

December 07, 2005 1:51 PM

Anonymous El Pulpo said...

Has the Honorable Congressman spoken to other legislators representing the metro New York area in the possible extension of this program to reach areas outside of the Bronx?

December 07, 2005 10:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugo Shavez is my new hero.

December 08, 2005 9:56 AM

Blogger GJPW said...

Catchy name for a blog run by North Americans eager to promote the agenda of Chavismo to English-speakers.

Meanwhile, Yo El Supremo in Caracas gets ready to stay in power until 2030. By hook or crook.

Chavismo is simply a repackaged form of caudillismo, another in the long list of deplorable third-rate dictatorships that have plagued Venezuela since its foundation.

While crime and poverty throughout Venezuela increase, the criminal government gives away money and oil internationally in an effort to buy allies. This is a shameful moment in the history of Venezuela.

I know you'll probably ignore these analysts but I'll recommend them regardless, all of them left-leaning Venezuelans who oppose Chavismo (see below).

My point is that if you are going to try & portray Venbezuela's political crisis as a simplistic battle between a "heroic" left and an "oligarchic" right, then you are simply playing into the marketing scheme of Chavismo.

Oswaldo Barreto
Elizabeth Araujo
Ibsen Martínez
Ana Teresa Torres
Colette Capriles
Fernando Rodríguez
Fausto Masó
Joaquín Marta Sosa
Milagros Socorro
Demetrio Boersner
Cantórbery Cuevas
Jesús Sanoja Hernández
Manuel Caballero
Antonio López Ortega
Heinz R. Sonntag
Héctor Silva Michelena

December 09, 2005 4:10 PM

Blogger Jeff said...

Points are points and made every day in Washington with no apparent positive outcome to end users of significance once the money has filtered through our ineffective bureaurocracy.
I would hesitate to criticize a country or leader who addresses the humanitarian needs of those who need it most here and in a way that cuts to the chase and provides the assistance when its needed rather than after everyone has frozen or starved.
We were offered 1600 doctors by Cuba during Katrina who could have saved lives and reduced pain and suffering, but we did not accept and people suffered. In times of need I for one do not give a damn about secondary motive or political Mantra.
It is OK to accept help when it is offered, pertinent and required. If that comes from our government great, if it comes from somewhere else and the need exists fine.
Points may be the wrong verbiage, try example or effective positive action!

January 11, 2006 12:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for my president..every thing he does, come from his heart!

Gob bless him and Venezuelan and american people!

January 11, 2006 2:01 PM


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