There’s a lot not to like about Venezuela’s populist clown President Hugo Chavez, but let’s not include the political one-upsmanship he pulled recently in Massachusetts. That’s when Chavez authorized discounted home heating oil this winter for low-income Massachusetts residents through Citgo Petroleum, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company.
Make no mistake, this is all about politics, although poor people in the nation’s second-richest state will, indeed, benefit. It’s hardly happenstance that Chavez is working with Democratic Rep. William D. Delahunt and a local nonprofit energy corporation headed by former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy. And it comes at a time when U.S oil companies have been reluctant to do what Citgo did, and Congress continues noncommittal in response to rising oil prices.
And don’t you know that deep down Karl Rove, President’s Bush’s political trickster and guru, is begrudgingly saluting Chavez for pulling off a humanitarian stunt that embarrasses the world’s foremost economic power.