[Marxism] Venezuela sends heating oil to South Bronx
lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Nov 26 08:06:17 MST 2005
NY Times, November 26, 2005
Venezuela's Leader to Send Heating Oil to South Bronx
By JONATHAN P. HICKS
A group of South Bronx residents will soon receive a large - and
inexpensive - shipment of heating oil, courtesy of President Hugo Chávez of
Venezuela, a frequent thorn in the side of the Bush administration.
Under an agreement between President Chávez and United States
Representative José E. Serrano, Citgo, the Houston-based American
subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company, will provide eight
million gallons of discounted heating oil this winter to thousands of
low-income residents of the South Bronx.
The populist government of the Venezuelan president is one of Latin
America's most vocal critics of American-style capitalism. Mr. Chávez has
led anti-Bush rallies in his country and has accused the United States of
trying to kill him and invade his country.
The oil should start arriving late next week or early in the week of Dec.
5, Mr. Serrano, a Bronx Democrat, said in an interview yesterday. He said
that the oil would be provided at 40 percent below the market rate.
"This is something that came as a result of conversations between me and
President Chávez," Mr. Serrano said. "As part of our talk, he suggested
that he wanted to ask Citgo to make home heating oil available to the poor
of the South Bronx at a lower rate."
Mr. Serrano said that the agreement provided "an incredible message to
other oil companies."
"It tells them," he said, "that that if these people in Venezuela can share
their profits with poorer communities, then they should, too."
Earlier this year, two nonprofit Massachusetts groups signed an agreement
with Citgo to provide discounted heating oil this winter to thousands of
Mr. Serrano said that there were some challenges in fine-tuning the program
in the Bronx that were not encountered in Massachusetts.
In New York, he said, most of the low-income residents rent their
apartments as opposed to being homeowners, as in Massachusetts.
The congressman added that the priority was to administer the program in
such a way that the savings were passed to residents.
"In New York, most of the landlords are private landlords, and we don't
really know how to get them to pass along those savings to the renters,"
Mr. Serrano said. "We suggested to the president that we start off with
three nonprofit affordable housing community corporations in the South Bronx."
Initially, Mr. Serrano said, the program will involve residents in about
200 apartments. He added that the agreements with the nonprofit groups call
for residents to receive vouchers for rent reductions and for
"infrastructure and quality-of-life improvements" in the buildings.
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