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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth


The president of oil rich Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, put his radical politics where his mouth is today by delivering the first consignment of low cost heating oil to some of New York's poorest residents. The delivery was made by the petroleum company Citgo (a subsidiary of PDVSA - Petróleos de Venezuela) which will deliver around 30.200 cubic metres of fuel to the Bronx area of New York, at a discount of 40%, between now and the beginning of April 2006. These deliveries will be coordinated by three non profit making charitable organisations which have earmarked 75 buildings as being in particular need of help. Some 8000 people either live in, or use, these buildings. A similar amount of fuel will also be shipped from Venezuela to Boston where the original deal for the deliveries of low cost oil was initially agreed in November. It is estimated that the people, or families, benefiting from the oil shipments stand to save a combined total of 14 million dollars.

All this makes good a promise made by the Chavez regime to offer the hand of friendship to ordinary citizens of North America, despite the fact that Chavez and George W Bush are sworn enemies . Enemies of Chavez and his regime will describe the whole operation as a cynical ploy by Chavez. And there is no doubt that he has ‘singed George Bush’s beard’ by using Venezuela’s monopoly position as a supplier of heating oil to North America to make a gesture of which Robin Hood would be proud. On the cold winter ground in Boston and New York, however, some of the recipients of the low cost oil were not slow in praising the gesture, and public representatives like William Delahunt in Boston described the low cost oil arrangement as ‘the best kind of humanitarian gesture’. The Venezuelan ambassador in Washington, Bernardo Álvarez, has indicated that the cheap oil programme will be extended to other cities in North America.

(Duine ar bith a bhfuil Spáinnis acu, thig leofa dul go dtí an nasc seo thíos chun níos mo a fháil amach fa dtaobh de)

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Date posted: 07 Dec '05 - 00:12
Filed under: General
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