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Giuliani Law Firm Lobbies in Texas for Chavez-Controlled Citgo

Rudolph Giuliani's law firm lobbies for Citgo Petroleum Corp., a unit of the state-owned oil company controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the U.S.'s chief antagonist in the Western Hemisphere.

Bracewell & Giuliani LLP registered to lobby for Citgo in Texas on April 26, 2005, less than a month after the former New York mayor joined the firm and became a name partner, state records show. Citgo renewed the contract in 2006 and 2007 and pays the firm $5,000 a month to track legislation. Giuliani doesn't lobby, the firm says.

The law firm's representation of Citgo comes as Chavez's relations with the U.S. have grown increasingly hostile. He has called President George W. Bush a ``devil'' and a ``madman'' and staged a mass, anti-American rally in Buenos Aires during Bush's trip to Latin America, which ends today.

Patrick Oxford, a managing partner at Bracewell & Giuliani, said Giuliani, a Republican presidential hopeful, has no dealings with the Venezuelan-owned oil company. ``He has not seen hide nor hair of Citgo,'' Oxford said.

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