- CARACAS. (PL)- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez spoke this Sunday
with visitors from the United States who have benefited from the program
that provides fuel at solidarity prices sponsored by the CITGO oil company,
an affiliate of PDVSA in that nation.
- Representatives of a group of 65 individuals
visiting Venezuela explained during the "Aló Presidente"
radio-television program how that fuel was distributed in their communities.
- They indicated that in many cases it
was not only seen as economic aid but also inspired hope.
- James Sapier, an indigenous representative,
stated that his people live in the northernmost part of the country where
temperatures are lower than 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
- He added that this assistance will make
it possible for them to endure the severe winters, given that the U.S.
authorities disregard their living conditions.
- The visitors were from eight regions
receiving the benefits of this plan, and they organized this visit themselves
to thank President Chávez for the idea of distributing heating fuel
at economic prices.
- Beginning November 2005, the agreement
supplies subsidized fuel at a 40% discount, as well as 150 gallons to 20
homeless shelters, principally for heating.
- The agreement is for more than 40 million
gallons of oil, of which 14 million have been delivered to date, and which
will benefit some 181,000 families.
- After learning the truth about Venezuela,
U.S. religious representatives say that they have taken it upon themselves
to talk with people in their communities to counter the disinformation
being spread in the United States.
- Priest Patrick Perrin, of Jamaican origin,
said that he emigrated to the United States: "I went in search of
a government by the people and of the people and did not find it,"
only upon arriving here can I see what that means.
- Chávez pointed out that it is
an obligation for Venezuela to cooperate with those in need as he thanked
them for, "permitting us to fulfill this obligation."
- He announced that Haiti is to be incorporated
into PETROCARIBE, through which fuel is distributed to Caribbean countries.
- He explained that storage installations
are being built in those nations, adding that they will pay 60% of the
cost and the other 40% will be compensated in goods or services.
- "This is what is called integration,"
he emphasized, "it is the only way that we can truly unite; those
of us who have certain advantages must help the rest," he affirmed.
- Likewise, the visitors met with Cuban
doctors cooperating in the Barrio Adentro Mission, which the president
described as a plan of solidarity and collaboration that guarantees free
healthcare to the Venezuelan population.