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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, May 20, 2005

To our friends in the empire...

Perhaps you're feeling confused about the recent decision of British university lecturers to boycott a handful of Israeli institutions claiming they were complicit in the ongoing oppressive occupation of Palestinians. Personally, I find it highly regrettable that the situation has escalated this far, but I've read enough about the general gutlessness of Israeli academia to stand up for what's right, and international attention and pressure may be the best way forward.

And now, something special for our US readers, from media critic and author Jeff Cohen:

Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations.

And tell your friends.

Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is Hugo Chavez. Call him "the Anti-Bush."

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 primarily to Venezuela - not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US. (Click here to find one near you.) By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela's democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for 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 why the Bush administration supported an attempted military coup in 2002 that sought to overthrow Chavez.

So this is the opposite of a boycott. Call it a BUYcott. Spread the word.

Of course, 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 BUYcott 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.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the boycott,
Sue Blackwell (the key proponent at the British AUT) has an active website, and a page on events at 'Israeli Universities and Colleges'.
http://www.sue.be/pal/academic/is_unis.html
Of note is her link to a recent Counterpunch article by Zalman Amit, giving fine detail of the Tantura massacre story, and the Teddy Katz thesis affair at Haifa.
Also a recent Ilan Pappe report of a conference at the Herzl Institute at Haifa, on 'The demographic problem and the Demographic policy of Israel'.
Code for the non-Jews are reproducing too fast and constitute a threat to the Jewish (i.e. ethnocratic) state.
ej

Friday, May 20, 2005 4:33:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Thanks EJ,
I've seen many of these reports, virtually ignored over here and Pappe's recent reporting...
Can you imagine if the situation was reversed? Too many Jews, we must do something about it...
Amazing...

Friday, May 20, 2005 4:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell? Chavez is practically a dictator; he rigged the hell out of the last election; he cracks down on the opposition in eight kinds of ways; but because he craps on America, he's OK by you? Where's your moral compass, mate?

Saturday, May 21, 2005 8:58:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Where's my moral compass? Well intact. Chavez has problems, I'm not suggesting perfection, but his belief in a non-capitalist worldview, increasingly shared by many in his region, is inspiring. Perhaps it's time to stop reading CIA reports?

Saturday, May 21, 2005 12:20:00 pm  
Blogger Nu-Ju said...

There is absolutely no evidence that he rigged the referendum or any other election. I have no idea where you're getting this from. Name one of the supposed 8 ways he cracks down on the opposition. You cowardsly sycophant.

Saturday, May 21, 2005 2:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US uses NED to finance the destabilization of legitimately elected governments on the pretext of promoting US foreign policy and you cry skulduggery?

You should really be directing that moral compass at yourself Anon.

Sunday, May 22, 2005 11:11:00 pm  

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