Chavez has long been a thorn in the side of the Bush Administration because of his close association with Cuba's Fidel Castro among other things, (namely in my humble opinion that Chavez lavishes his country's oil wealth on the poor.)
Maybe Chavez is a bit of a thug as the Bushies would suggest, but he certainly has Bush's number, so for that he's a hero in my book. Watching Bush and Chavez do their "fandance" has been hilarious.
If an American Congressman wants to broker a deal (in this case with Citgo, an American subsidiary that gets all of it's oil from South America) to secure low cost heating oil for his constituents, then I say BRAVO! Hey, I used to live in Boston, and winters up there are no joke!!!
This arrangement seems like a no brainer.
Chavez' so called petrodiplomacy may just be a case of a Catholic country providing energy assistance to a state with a high concentration of Catholics.
an interesting caviat:
Citgo is one of a handful of options that Americans can choose if they are looking to NOT support the Saudi economy. The others are SUNOCO, CONOCO, HESS, B/P Phillips, and Arco.
The following companies :
Shell, Chevron/Texaco, ExxonMobile, Amaco and Gulf
get their oil nearly exclusively from Saudi Arabia.
Listen, I have nothing against the Saudis, I just refuse to buy their oil.