A new campaign called a BUY-cott (the opposite of a boycott} is now under way to encourage motorists to buy their gas at Citgo stations.
Why Citgo, you ask?
Media critic and author Jeff Cohen explains: Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. Venezuela is the only top oil-producing country in the world with a president -- Hugo Chavez -- who was elected on a platform of using his country's oil revenue to benefit the poor by providing health care, literacy, education and subsidized food to the majority of Venezuelans.
Instead of using government to help the rich and the corporate, as Bush does, Chavez is using the resources and oil revenue of his government to help the poor in Venezuela. A country with so much oil wealth shouldn't have 60 percent of its people living in poverty, earning less than $2 per day. With a mass movement behind him, Chavez is confronting poverty in Venezuela. That's why large majorities have consistently backed him in democratic elections. And that is also why the Bush administration supported an attempted military coup in 2002 that sought to overthrow Chavez.
Of course, Cohen continues, if you can take mass transit or bike or walk to your job, you should do so. And we should all work for political changes that move our country toward a cleaner environment based on renewable energy. The BUY-cott is for those of us who don't have a practical alternative to filling up our cars. So get your gas at Citgo and help fuel a democratic revolution in Venezuela.
(To find one of the 14,000 Citgo gas stations near you copy and paste the following link into your browser: http://www.citgo.com/CITGOLocator/StoreLocator.jsp
Jeff Cohen is an author and media critic (www.jeffcohen.org)