Don't Go to Citgo?
Date Added: Feb. 24, 2006
Since much of the nation's fuel supply comes from other countries - many of which are openly hostile toward the U.S. - some Americans are concerned that the prices we pay at the pump could be, in effect, used to plan our downfall. Consumer advocacy schemes like this chain letter calling for a boycott of Venezuelan-owned Citgo play off that fear.
Venezuela Dictator Vows To Bring Down U.S. Government
Venezuela government is sole owner of Citco 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/communist 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 communist 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 the 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.
Send an email to Chavez and to Citgo 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?
Click Here To Send Your Email Letter Now! Very important. Please forward this to your friends and family. Most of them don't know that Citgo is owned by the Venezuela government.
Thanks for caring enough to get involved.
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 53rd and current president of the South American nation of Venezuela. A self-proclaimed "Bolivarian revolutionary," Chávez has instituted many sweeping socialist reforms in his nation to combat disease, illiteracy, malnutrition, poverty and more. He is a very charismatic and prolific speaker and is well-liked among the bulk of the Venezuelan public. But, he has been severely criticized by the Venezuelan middle and upper classes for his quasi-socialist income redistribution and social welfare programs and has narrowly survived both a 2002 coup and a failed 2004 recall referendum.
A democratic socialist, Chávez has been a very vocal opponent of United States foreign policy, which he calls imperialistic. He speaks out vocally and frequently on what he feels are "politics of agression" propagated by U.S. President George W. Bush. Throughout his presidency, Chávez has hosted a live weekly talk show called Aló, Presidente! ("Hello, President!"). While I have been unable to directly validate it, this program is the most likely source for the claims made in the chain letter above.
Although the chain letter does not cite specifically when Chávez supposedly made these statements, the first examples of this chain letter surfaced at the end of January, 2006. Chávez met Cindy Sheehan - the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq who has become very vocal and controversial opponent of the Bush administration's strategy for that nation's independence - during the World Social Forum held in Caracas, Venezuela, January 24-29, 2006. Most likely, their meeting included an appearance on Venezuelan television.
Chávez made very similar comments toward the U.S. Government in his speech that closed the World Social Forum on January 29:
“(The U.S.) is the most perverse empire in history: It talks about freedom while invading and destroying other nations ... The empire is very powerful, but not infallible. This century we will bury the US empire. The empire has to face the people of Venezuela and Latin America. It has failed in Iraq already.”
Chávez is careful to point out that his beef is with the U.S. government, not her people, whom he often calls "our brothers." He frequently asserts that he has no intentions on taking on the U.S. military or economic might. Instead, he seems intent on embarrassing the Bush administration by leveraging his own nation's resources to provide assistance and comfort to America's poor that their own nation cannot. For example, in the wake of 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Chávez offered free assistance including medical care, education, fuel and more to poor victims. (The Bush administration turned down the offer, but Venezuela did provide assistance through less overt channels.)
Citgo started as an American company founded in the early 1900s in Texas. The Cities Service Company became Citgo in 1965. In the 1990s, CITGO was purchased by Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The company is still based in Houston and continues to be a leading refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt and other industrial products. The company employs thousands of Americans and returns millions of dollars in revenue and assistance to the U.S. economy every day.
In November, 2006, a new version of this chain surfaced, subtly claiming some success in the effort to put the pressure on Chavez by positing that the company is changing its name to confuse would-be conscientous objectors:
CITGO is NOW in the process of Changing Its name to PETRO EXPRESS due to the loss of gasoline sales in the USA due to the recent publicity of ownership by Chavez of Venezuela.
Every dollar you spend with CITGO or PETRO EXPRESS gasoline will be used against you, your basic human rights, and your freedoms.He will start wars here in the Americas that will probably be the death of millions. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT because Chavez is starting to feel the loss of revenue from his holdings.HE OWNS CITGO. This is a very important move that everyone should be aware of.
ANNOUNCED JUST RECENTLY, CITGO, BEING AWARE THAT SALES ARE DOWN DUE TO U.S. CUSTOMERS NOT WANTING TO BUY FROM "CITGO-CHAVEZ", HAVE STARTED TO CHANGE THE NAME OF SOME OF THEIR STORES TO: "PETRO EXPRESS" DO NOT BUY FROM "PETRO EXPRESS" EITHER!!! "PETRO EXPRESS" IS ALSO 100% OWNED BY "CHAVEZ."
KEEP THIS MEMO GOING SO THAT EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT IS HAPPENI! NG.
BOYCOTT -------- "CITGO" AND "PETRO EXPRESS" --------- BOYCOTT
MAKE SURE THIS IS PASSED ON TO EVERYONE IN YOUR E-MAIL LIST IN THE UNITED STATES AND OUTSIDE OF AMERICA
Petro Express is an American chain of convenience stores originally headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., but now (as of early 2007) is owned by The Pantry, another American company, based in Sanford, N.C. with offices in Jacksonville, Fla. Petro Express is not now, nor was it ever "100% owned" by Chávez or Citgo. In October, 2006, shortly before this version of this chain letter surfaced, Petro Express announced that it would phase out Citgo gas at its stores in favor of another, unnamed supplier. I have been unable to find any reputable source that confirms the claim that Citgo's sales are down, let alone as a result of consumer activism.
It is not unusual for convenience stores to regularly change suppliers - which points out another hole this this boycott's premise: Just because "Citgo" isn't on the sign, that doesn't mean Citgo-supplied gasoline isn't in the pumps. Many stores and chains will buy from different suppliers, as influenced by price and availability. So, a true boycott of Citgo would be difficult at best. Not to mention the fact that the individuals most likely to be hurt by such a boycott would be the independent owner/operators of Citgo stations and their employees, not Hugo Chávez. Break this chain.
References: VenezuelanAnalysis.com, Wikipedia: Hugo Chávez, Prensa Latina, Citgo Corporate Web Site, Snopes.com, About.com, TruthOrFiction.com