John on March 3, 2008 at 3:50 pm
If you see this sign as you’re looking for gas, you might want to keep driving. Citgo is Venezuela’s petroleum producer. Venezuela is currently run by Hugo Chavez, would be communist dictator who has announced his intention to rule Venezuela for the next 20 years.
Chavez also styles himself the left’s answer to George Bush. In fact, back in May 2005, lefty website Common Dreams suggested that people should buy Citgo as a way to oppose Bush’ foreign policy:
Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela — not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East…Instead of using government to help the rich and the corporate, as Bush does, Chavez is using the resources and oil revenue of his government to help the poor in Venezuela.
Chavez, aware of his reputation on the left, has played it to the hilt. In 2006, at an appearance before the UN, he joked that he could smell sulfur from the “devil” (George Bush) who had previously appeared in the same space. The response in America was not as favorable as he’d hoped. One of Citgo’s prime distributors, 7-11 convenience stores, dropped Citgo gas in response to customer complaints. But it now appears that Chavez is far worse than a communist buffoon. And the money he earns selling Citgo gas isn’t just going to help the poor in Venezuela.
To explain this revelation we need to back up a few days. Last week, Colombia sent troops over the border with Ecuador to attack a group of FARC rebels. If you haven’t heard of FARC, you can check the wikipedia entry here, but briefly FARC is the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party. They are determined to overturn the democratically elected government in Columbia and turn it into the next Cuba. America, Canada, Columbia and several other nations classify FARC as a terrorist organization. Here is, briefly, how FARC supports its endless rebellion:
FARC has financed itself through kidnapping ransoms, extortion, and drug trafficking which includes but it is not limited to coca plant harvesting, protection of their crops, processing of coca leaves to manufacture cocaine, and drug trade protection. Businesses operating in rural areas, including agricultural, oil, and mining interests, were required to pay “vaccines” (monthly extortions) which “protected” them from subsequent attacks and kidnappings. An additional, albeit less lucrative, source of revenue was highway blockades where guerrillas stopped motorists and buses in order to confiscate jewelry and money…
Well, the Columbian raid against FARC was a big success. They killed the current spokesman and overall #2 leader of FARC, one Raul Reyes. This makes it the most serious blow against FARC in its entire 44 year history.
This was too much for Chavez who immediately ordered 10 battalions of Venezuelan troops to the Columbian border and has been saber rattling excessively over the past few days. Chavez had never publicly aligned himself with FARC, for obvious reasons, but he had never denounced them either. So his reaction in itself was telling. Why would Chavez care what happens to a Columbian terrorist group? Well, now we know:
Colombia’s police chief, Gen. Oscar Naranjo, said documents recovered from a slain rebel leader’s computer indicate Chavez recently sent $300 million to Colombian guerrillas. He said another document indicates the rebels sent money to Chavez when he was a jailed coup leader more than a decade ago.
Of course Hugo Chavez doesn’t have $300 million. That money came from his nations main export: gasoline. And the main consumer for that product is the United States, where Citgo has some 14,000 stations. In other words, the money for the FARC terrorists and their reign of terror is coming from you. Every time you buy Citgo gas some of that money is supporting FARC in its kidnapping, drug running and murder of elected officials. Unless you want to support FARC, consider buying your gas somewhere else. That’s what I’ll be doing.
Update: Note that according to Bloomberg via HotAir:
FARC, as the group is known, was seeking to buy 50 kilos of uranium for bomb making with aim of getting involved in international terrorism.
[HT: HotAir for the funding story]
Category: Secularism & Socialism |