Working to provoke discussion and provide up-to-date information and analysis on US-Venezuelan relations, politics, policies, and culture.

Going after CITGO

One member of Congress is demanding an investigation of CITGO's discounted oil offers this winter. The Daily Delay informs that, "Texas Joe Barton (R-TX) is down right mad at Citgo. He's mad because while oil prices are at an all time high, Citgo had the gall to start a program that offered heating oil to the poor in the Northeast at rates up to 60% below market price. That's right, Citgo, and only Citgo, started an oil-for-the-poor program so those less fortunate than others could heat their home this winter."

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Venezuela bans 2 U.S. airlines, restricts others

February 24th, 2006

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela has prohibited Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines from flying into this South American nation and is restricting American Airlines, Francisco Plaz, the president of the National Aviation Institute, said.

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Venezuela: a revolution in contraflow

by Ivan Briscoe
February 10, 2006

Ivan Briscoe, travelling west from Caracas to Macaraibo, listens to the voices of the unemployed, the mobilised, the empowered and the disillusioned to portray the hope and the paradoxes of Hugo Chávez's "Bolivarian revolution:"

He has lived on his homestead for only a year since staging a "sort of invasion", but Jovito González is already enjoying the fruits of the Caribbean. Besides a tin-roofed one-room house, where his family of five lives, lemons, sugar cane and yucca grow fast and profusely. Just below the sandy hillcrest on which his home stands, the vast Maracaibo lake, now bled of most of its vast oil reserves, stretches into a blindingly bright horizon.

"The electricity is stolen", González beams contentedly. "Everything is illegal: the water and the gas too. We live illegally."

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Diplomatic Meetings

State Department PR Office
February 10, 2006

Question: The Venezuelan Ambassador claims that he has not been able to meet with anyone at State for several weeks. Is that true? Have we refused to meet with him? If so, why?

Answer: Generally, foreign ambassadors in Washington maintain regular contact with the desk officer and office director responsible for bilateral relations with their country. The respective deputy assistant secretary is always available to meet with an ambassador. Meetings with assistant secretaries and more senior State Department officials are less frequent. At his request, the Venezuelan Ambassador met with the Director and Deputy Director for the Office of Andean Affairs as recently as January 23. Assistant Secretary Shannon spoke extensively with Ambassador Alvarez during a January 25 lunch. The State Department welcomes meetings with Venezuela.

Click here to see the state department press release

Letter To the Editor, N.Y. Times--Chavez and Hitler

To the Editor:

The article "Chavez Ousts U.S. Diplomat on Spying Charge" (Feb. 3 by Juan Forero) quotes Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld comparing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Adolf Hitler. Rumsfeld says Chavez is "a person who was elected legally just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally and then consolidated power and now is, of course, working with Fidel Castro and Mr. Morales and others."

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Venezuela's Chavez Wins Hearts Among the Poor

By Michelle García
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 4, 2006

CARACAS, Venezuela -- The shanties came tumbling down, wiping out the families who had built their homes on the hill. Carlos Henriquez, then a young boy, vividly remembers the images of the deadly mudslides and the feeling that the government had failed to protect the poor.

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Pat Robertson is at it again

From "Media Matters:"

"During the February 2 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Christian Coalition founder and 700 Club host Pat Robertson reiterated his call for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez."

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