Friday, September 23, 2005

Chavez staying true to pledge for U.S. poor

Citgo officials scrambling to fine-tune Venezuelan leader's promise of cheap oil

When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on the weekend that he was going to open the taps on subsidized heating oil for poor folks in the United States, many assumed it was a drive-by comment aimed at raising the ire of his frequent critics in Washington.

But, as it turns out, Mr. Chavez is a man of his word.

Officials at Citgo Petroleum Corp. -- the Houston-based company that is wholly owned by Venezuela's state-owned energy company -- say they are scrambling to put the fine points on Mr. Chavez's promise to supply some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the United States with cheap heating oil this winter.

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