Does it bother anybody that many Democrats are negotiating deals with Hugo Chavez, the highly undemocratic dictator of Venezuela, to get heating oil at a price 40% below market rate for low-income Americans? Besides being no friend of democracy, free speech or political opposition, Hugo Chavez perpetuates the poverty of his nation through this so-called charitable plan. By giving such a large discount on his nation’s only export to spite President Bush, he is robbing his people of the revenues needed for infrastructure and government services. And our elected representatives are helping him do this.
I’m all for discounted heating oil for our nation’s low-income families, but we should be slightly concerned about the source of this oil and the consequences for taking it. This program robs the Venezuelan people of much-needed revenues, and only serves to legitimize an anti-democratic dictator.