Wednesday, February 22, 2006
  Citgo and Anonymous Email
Yesterday, I received an anonymous email. I am going to reproduce the email and interpose my responses. I'll put the email text in italics.

Me: The first thing I notice about the email the “From” field is blank. So the first question I ask myself is “Why would a person or group spreading a valid message wish to remain anonymous?” Could it be because the message is not valid? Just asking.

Email: Is this true.

Me: Is what true?

Email: Venezuela Dictator Vows To Bring Down U.S. Government
Email: Venezuela government is sole owner of Citgo gasoline company

Me: Another thing that strikes me about this message is the sender’s ignorance. The fact that Citgo is owned by Venezuela is a well known fact. It was discussed over and over again last year when Chavez cut that deal with those Northern states to provide their low income families with low cost heating oil. The writer has apparently just become aware of the ownership. He/she is either ignorant of the heating oil deal or just ignoring it – more likely the latter. In any case, to deal with the actual text of the message:

Email: 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."

Me: First, Chavaz is not a dictator; he is a democratically elected president – which is more than can be said for the head of our government.

Me: Second, Chavaz has never vowed to “bring down the US government.” He did say "Enough of imperialist aggression; we must tell the world: down with the U.S. empire. We have to bury imperialism this century." Since I am with Chavaz 100% on that, I am still wondering what point the writer of the email was trying to make.

Email: The guest on his television program, beamed across Venezuela, was Cindy Sheehan, the antiwar activist.

Me: And ... ?

Email: Chavez recently had as his guest Harry Belafonte, who called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world."

Me: Harry Belafonte did recently speak in Venezuela and he did call Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world." I guess the truth hurts some people when it hits home.

Email: Chavez is pushing a socialist revolution and has a close alliance with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Me: Chavez believes in a type of democracy that this country hasn’t practiced, even in theory, since Thomas Jefferson was president two hundred years ago. That is, Chavez believes that national resources belong to the people and should benefit the people directly by using the derived income to finance schools, medical care, and sanitation. He does not believe in the philosophy that has been so prevalent in the US for at least 150 years; that philosophy seems to be: once in power, sell all natural resources to your cronies. The peons will then benefit through economic “trickle-down.”

Me: As for Chavez’s alliance with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, he gives them oil. They give Venezuela sugar, but more importantly, they give Venezuela trained doctors and nurses who have set up clinics in areas of Venezuela where people have never known formal healthcare. Were we even half the country we claim to be, we would have been down there helping with that project. Instead, we wasted our Venezuelan resources paying for the CIA to overthrow Chavez because his “socialist programs” were cutting into the profits of Exxon.

Me: Anyway, who are we to quibble about such an alliance? Our largest trading partner is China which is not only governed by a rigid dictatorship; it has one of the worst records for human rights violations in the world.

Email: Regardless of your feelings about the war in Iraq, the issue here is that we have a socialist 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 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.

Email: Take Action Please decide 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? Very important. Please forward this to your friends and family. Most of them don't know that Citgo is owned by the Venezuela government.

Me: To me, the issue is not “that we have a socialist dictator vowing to bring down the government of the U.S. And he is using our money to achieve his goal!” The issue is that we have some moronic imbecile who is so cowardly as to email people a bunch of ignorant right-winged bullshit anonymously. I just wish I knew who sent it so I could respond personally. Since I can't, let me urge you to go get in your car, drive to the nearest Citgo station and top off your tank. The people who would be freezing up north if it wasn't for Chavez will thank you. The people in Venezuela who are getting medical care for the first time will thank you.

Me: And the head of the SSO IRBS (Society to Stamp Out Ignorant Rightwing Bullshit Slangers - that would be me) will thank you.
Thanks for your reply on my Blog.

To help you understand better the situation over here, is a good starting point, in english.

BTW, on the Post you commented I speak about the Tacson List, which is nothing more than a PC application with all the voters information, and not just Name, address and usual but also their voting patterns. Talks about a secret vote...democracy.

Thanks again for your interest
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Samizdat: an underground system for the circulation of forbidden works of literature and political criticism in the Soviet era of Russia.

Location: Arkansas, United States

Angry, angry, angry ... but still, any day above ground is a good day.