Citgo is owned by Venezuela whose President is anti-U.S.-Truth?

Citgo is Owned By Venezuela Whose President Is Anti-U.S.-Truth!


Summary of eRumor:

The message says that Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez has vowed to bring down the U.S. government, that he has had antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan and actor Harry Belafonte on his television show, and that we should not buy products from Citgo gas stations because it is owned by the Venezuelan government.

The Truth:

This email is a copy of a release from the American Family Association.

There are several issues in this eRumor.  We’ll take them one at a time.

Chavez has a TV program in Venezuela.  In one of his TV shows he said “Enough of imperialist aggression; we must tell the world: down with the U.S. empire. We have to bury imperialism this century.” It’s not hard to interpret that as a vow against the United States.  Whether he meant that literally or meant that he would like to see a political death to the United States is being debated.  In any case, Venezuela would not win a military confrontation with the United States, but Chavez’s disdain for the U.S. is clear. 

It is also on one of his TV programs that Chavez welcomed U.S. antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan who has been an outspoken critic of President Bush.  He had singer Harry Belefonte as a guest as well, in January, 2006.  Belefonte has also been a vocal critic of the president.

Chavez has been president of Venezuela since 1998.  One of his first acts was to build relations with Fidel Castro and Cuba and his leftist government has been in the watchful eye of the U.S. ever since.  In February, 2006, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the Venezuelan government posed “one of the biggest problems” in Latin America, particularly because of its ties with Cuba.  Chavez responded with a threat to stop the flow of oil to the U.S., a threat he has made before. Citgo is the American subsidiary of the state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA. He has also threatened to block inbound flights to Venezuela from the U.S..

Boycotts of oil companies have been tried on numerous occasions and, so far, without measurable results.  Citgo is Venezuelan owned but the majority of the people who would be impacted by a successful boycott are mostly Americans.

Last updated 3/11/06