Posted By RichC on March 3, 2006
I’m reluctant to post a message before hearing from Citgo Petroleum Corporation on an email making its way around the internet that generates strong emotions from most I’ve shown it too. (see posted email at the end of this post)
The company (Citgo) is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of PetrÃ³leos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
As most of you know, relations between the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and the United States is not all that friendly. Before taking a strong position on this, I want readers to know that I am well aware of the power of the pen. Writers, reporters, lawyers and everyday people have the ablity to slant events and skew opinions on these kinds of issues. I suspect that who owns and has input into the operation of ‘most’ foreign corporations has little to do with the governments of countries since profit and business over shadow politics … but their is a bit more concern when talking about corporation with potential government direction. Thankfully in our democracy we can use our pocketbook, our free press and our own discretion.
This Citgo-Venezuela situation sort of reminds me of the recent unrest with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) purchasing 6 port operation facilities. Politically it is near suicide for politicians seeking re-election to back the purchase since popular opinion has deep concerns over ‘government owned’ corporations and their ties to terror and those who dislike the US. Personally I don’t see that it is a security issue, but understand the emotional aspect to any questionable issue relating to a linked relationship with some that might not be as friendly to the US.
The Citgo situation is similar since the corporate ownership is part of a government owned “national oil company” in Venezuela. That country is run by a ‘strong handed’ leader that has shown distaste for the US and vice versa, particularly when it relates to the countries feisty Hugo Chavez. I’ll post the email just as it came, and allow readers to determine how we should respond. I have written to Citgo in Houston and will offer a few email addresses at this end of the post incase others want to seek a response. (let me know if you receive one worthy of a follow up) If the company replies to my questions and concerns, I will post them as a follow as to their side of this position.
I also suspect that tying Cindy Shehan to Chavez and then to Citgo is done just for impact (it worked on me), yet anytime a “National oil company” run by a government that is overtly negative about the US owns a “wholly” owns an American corporation I would want to know about it. (IMHO, this is just another reason to work toward alternatives and adopt moderate conservation measures that reduce our dependency on foreign petroleum)
Cindy & Chavez
Venezuela Dictator Vows To Bring Down U.S. Government
Venezuela government is sole owner of Citgo gasoline company
Venezuela Dictator Hugo Chavez has vowed to bring down the U.S. government. Chavez, president of Venezuela, told a TV audience: “Enough of imperialist aggression; we must tell the world: down with the U.S. empire. We have to bury imperialism this century.”
The guest on his television program, beamed across Venezuela, was Cindy Sheehan, the antiwar activist. Chavez recently had as his guest Harry Belafonte, who called President Bush “the greatest terrorist in the world.” Chavez is pushing a socialist revolution and has a close alliance with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Regardless of your feelings about the war in Iraq, the issue here is that we have a socialist dictator vowing to bring down the government of the U.S. And he is using our money to achieve his goal! The Venezuela government, run by dictator Chavez, is the sole owner of Citgo gas company. Sales of products at Citgo stations send money back to Chavez to help him in his vow to bring down our government.
Please decide that you will not be shopping at a Citgo station. Why should U.S. citizens who love freedom be financing a dictator who has vowed to take down our government?
Very important. Please forward this to your friends and family. Most of them don’t know that Citgo is owned by the Venezuela government.
To be as fair as possible, I’ll post a “Urban Legend” post evaluating the circulating email with an interesting poll allowing readers to see if they were swayed to avoid purchasing Citgo branded fuels based on this email campaign. According to their research the campaign targeting Citgo was started in January by The American Family Association.
EDIT: Removed my “dictator” reference.