Saturday, October 07, 2006

The devil drinks gasolina

On september 27, 2006, every 'respectable' news outlet was running the 7-Eleven/Citgo story : outraged by Hugo Chavez's speech at the UN (you know, when he could still smell sulfur), the 7-Eleven executives reacted with a fiercely patriotic decision : they immediately announced they were dropping Venezuela-owned Citgo as the supplier of gasoline for 2,100 of their stores. They were switching to star-spangled companies instead : nobody can smear Our Beloved Leader Bush and get away with it.

Irony, and some sense of victory, were palpable all over the 'respectable' media. Said Forbes : "The sulfur Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez smells these days isn't the residue of George Bush at the United Nations, but profits from the sale of fuel to 7-Eleven stores going poof". There you are Mr Chavez, reaping what you sowed ! For the Washington Post, the 7-Eleven decision came as direct consideration for concerned customers' complaints : "Faced with a barrage of calls from customers and bloggers calling for a boycott of Citgo gasoline stations, 7-Eleven Inc. said yesterday that the Citgo signs are going to start coming down from its convenience stores". Some major company complying -in a blink- with demands from citizens, 'and bloggers', isn't that appreciable ? And new ?

Of course, there's another Angle to the story, which most of the media seem to have missed : in last july, Citgo announced it wouldn't renew no-longer-profitable supply contracts with hundreds of US gas stations (many of them part of the 7-11 network). Said contract was ending on... September 30th, 2006. Put simply, 7-11 dropped on september 27 its Citgo contract, which Citgo had already dropped on july 12. "I fire you"... "No, I quit !". Could be one of these sitcoms ? One featuring Associated Press 'journalists' running the same story two months apart, only reversing the role of main characters ?

"Foreign agression"

That same Washington Post article mentions interesting words from Boston City Council Jerry McDermott, who "(...)called for the removal of the Citgo sign visible over the left field wall of Fenway Park":
The neon sign, which went up in 1965, has been called Boston's equivalent of Big Ben. Popular outcry in 1983 stopped a company plan to dismantle the sign. But McDermott said that the Chavez speech changed his view. When he was a kid on the way to Fenway, McDermott said, "you'd be sitting in the bus and you would see the sign and you knew you were close." But, he said, the sign "doesn't have the reverence that it once did." McDermott added: "It's a corporation that is funding activities against this country, and we should take heed. I don't see why this symbol of foreign aggression should be emblazoned against the sky of Boston."

Too bad the WP 'journalist' didn't see fit to ask for details on that 'foreign aggression', as we're now left wondering what sinister plot he was referring to. Was it the now famous 'sulfur' comment (which, incidentally, a growing number of US citizens are endorsing) or was it something else?

Maybe it was that bold move from Citgo (backed by state-owned Petroleo De Venezuela SA), which decided before the '05 winter to provide 12 million gallons of heating oil to poor citizens at a 40% discounted price (representing a $10 million gift) in Mr McDermott's Boston area ? Was it the overall 'low cost heating oil' program, representing a rebate on a total of 45 million gallons of oil ? Was it this free oil (300,000+ gallons of it) provided to homeless shelters in Vermont, Connecticut and Delaware ? Was it the '06 version of the Venezuelan aid program, another plan to discount 100 million gallons of heating oil for the US poor, hospitals and shelters..? Or, was it because of that provocative offer for help, complete with mobile hospital units, after Katrina devastated New Orleans ?

All this shows there's plenty the USA can hold against Chavez. It's a surprise nobody from Capitol Hill called any of this an 'act of war' yet. The obvious way to cope with this (rogue) country that joined the 'axis of evil' in early 2005, is to launch one of these shock and awe operations so transnational companies can resume with plundering the Venezuelan resources in a healthy rush toward profit at any human cost, instead of just letting a Venezuelan firm help low income US families to go through winter with a decent temperature at home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are doing a wonderful job here Sept.


10/07/2006 5:08 PM  
Anonymous mysticalfemme said...

Good article, but it's 'reap what you sow', not sew.

10/07/2006 7:29 PM  
Blogger Sept said...

Thanks mystical, that helps. Correction made :)

10/08/2006 9:24 AM  

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