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Thread: Chavez: I'll Provide Oil For Poor

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    PhilosophyGenius Guest

    Chavez: I'll Provide Oil For Poor

    Chavez: I'll provide oil for poor

    Sunday, May 14, 2006; Posted: 5:03 a.m. EDT (09:03 GMT)

    VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he wants to provide cheap heating oil for low-income Europeans.

    The Venezuelan leader worked out a similar deal to deliver discount heating oil this past winter to needy Americans in parts of the eastern United States.

    "I'd like to do the same here in Europe," he said Saturday evening at a gathering in Vienna of activists and representatives of social movements and non-governmental groups.

    The so-called alternative summit was held in parallel to a three-day summit of leaders from the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean that concluded earlier Saturday in the Austrian capital.

    "I want to humbly offer support to the poorest people who do not have resources for central heating in winter and make sure that support arrives," Chavez said.

    Chavez said Venezuela has two oil refineries in Germany and one in Britain but did not provide further details about which countries could benefit from the proposal.

    He added that Venezuelan ambassadors in Europe were looking into the matter.

    "You Europeans can help us greatly. Your European social networks can make sure the support arrives where it should," Chavez told the conference.

    This past winter, Venezuela delivered cut-rate oil to low-income Americans through Citgo, the Houston-based subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Some Chavez critics charged the heating aid program was an attempt to embarrass U.S. President George W. Bush and was more of an attempt to score political points than it was an act of charity.

    In other comments during his speech, which lasted more than two hours, Chavez -- known for his anti-American rhetoric -- said that the "final hours of the North American empire have arrived."

    "So now we have to say to the empire: 'We're not afraid of you. You're a paper tiger,"' he said.

    Chavez, dressed casually in a red shirt, appealed to the audience to unite and promote social change. For example, he said, more business should be steered toward smaller companies to the benefit of laborers in poorer regions, and that doing so would cut out intermediaries.

    "We have to unite all possible movements, otherwise the world is not going to change," he said.

    Chavez, suggested the conference delegates meet again in the coming months to develop further ideas. He suggested they meet in Cuba in July, in Venezuela in August and in Bolivia in September.

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