Citgo and Spin

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has a message for red states that enjoy buying his gasoline: See ya.

Venezuela-owned Citgo Petroleum Corp. has decided to stop selling gasoline at some 1,800 stations in the United States following calls by President Hugo Chavez to nix contracts that benefit U.S. consumers more than Venezuelans.

The states where Citgo will stop selling gasoline are: Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota. A limited number of stations in Illinois, Texas, Arkansas and Iowa will also be affected.

With the exception of Minnesota and Illinois, of course, all of these states voted for Bush. That's coincidental—it's also funny, considering Chavez's thick-as-thieves relationship with Vermont and Massachusetts.

Julian Sanchez's 2005 piece on Hugo the Horrible is here; my piece on why Chavez is too silly to ever threaten capitalism is here.

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  1. Sounds like those 1800 stations could end up owning Citgo’s U.S. refineries. Try nationalizing those Hugo.

  2. I wonder what the left-of-center spin on that will be.

  3. Well, if Chavez is right that he was just moving gasoline around to keep an unprofitable distribution channel open, we’ll have slightly more rational markets in gasoline, with no net effect on supply or demand.

    If he’s wrong, and Citgo was actually making money on those gasoline sales, someone else will make that money now.

    So it’s pretty much, “who cares”?

  4. Dave-

    …my piece on why Chavez is too silly to ever threaten capitalism is here.

    (From the linked article)–

    Bolivia’s Morales, who’d bragged about becoming “Bush’s worst nightmare,” has completely mellowed in office.

    That was April…

    In May, Morales decided to ‘nationalize’ Bolivia’s oil/gas industry.

    It’s not every day that a government gets to steal $1 billion in one swoop– But, I’d be kind of “mellow”, too…

  5. What a stupid thing to do. It’s a shame that we supported such a half-assed coup in 2002(or whenever it was).

  6. im still hiding under the bed because Sandinista tanks are three days from Brownsville…..or is it because Libyan bombers are going to refuel in Granada?
    Jeez, I get confused……..

  7. what does this mean for the giant Citgo sign in Boston?

  8. we didn’t support a half-assed coup, it failed cause Chavez is pretty popular and the people rallied. Chavez is popular in part because the fools the US supported before him, who received very little flack from libertarians were actualy worse than him.

    Again, Chavez has done a fair amount of good by South American standards of political leaders, being what they may — DeSoto style land reform in urban areas being one that libertarians continue to ignore.

    Again the guy ain’t a saint and I wouldn’t vote for him, but the Hugo the Horrible and all this name calling is beyond facts and stuff…

  9. I’m sure we’ve gotten rid of more popular assholes than him, though.

  10. Makes me thing of TMBG again:

    While they were staring at the Citgo sign
    Is when they lost our trail
    They thought we were part of a caravan
    But we had other plans

    You can’t catch me
    Where I’m gonna fall
    You can’t catch me
    Where I’ll hide
    This world’s too cold
    This Nova rolls
    I’m moving to the sun

  11. Aww… communist dictator thug don’t wanna play. Screw him and his kind.

    Bet they’re eatin’ this up over at DU.

  12. “im still hiding under the bed because Sandinista tanks are three days from Brownsville…..or is it because Libyan bombers are going to refuel in Granada?
    Jeez, I get confused……..”

    I know what you mean MUTT. I’m still waiting for the state to wither away in communist bloc countries….oh wait, it usually does!

  13. The imperfect alignment between red states and the states Citgo is divesting from is most likely an artifact of population density. The two blue states, Minnesota and Illinois, are big midwestern states with vast expanses of countryside.

  14. so now I’m stuck buying arab gas, wtf?

    I was voting at the pump with my money for a Venezeuelan President who is supported by his poor people over an Arabian monarchy that would be dead if it weren’t for American intervention in supporting the suppression of their poor.

  15. Yeah, I dunno who you’re supposed to buy oil from. We get a lot from our Second Oldest Enemy, the Great White Menace to the North. Then another chunk from Mexico, which is doubtless using the money for La Reconquista. Then there’s them Arabs, who’ll use the money to invade us and force us to convert to muslimism. A big balance of the remainder from Hugo. So all patriots should buy a bike.

  16. Seems like much ado about nothing…

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060712/ap_on_bi_ge/venezuela_citgo_2

    “Citgo, which is wholly owned by Venezuela’s state oil company, currently has to purchase 130,000 barrels a day from third parties in order to meet its service contracts at 13,100 stations across the U.S. This is less profitable than selling gasoline directly from its refineries.

    “Instead, the Houston-based company has decided to sell to retailers only the 750,000 barrels a day that it produces at three U.S. refineries in Lake Charles, La., Corpus Christi, Texas and Lemont, Ill., according to a statement late Tuesday.”

  17. That’s what I was wondering. Aren’t some of those stations franchises with contracts that have to be fulfilled?

  18. Spur,
    I’m new to libertarian ideas, what’s Desoto land reform?

  19. Charlie:

    Hernando de Soto (not the explorer!) is an economist from Peru who studies the “informal sector” a/k/a “the black market.” He identified a large problem in third world countries, especially ones with corrupt, non-democratic governments, that the lack of a consistent rule of law made property rights less dependable than they should be. This had the knock-on effect of limiting the ability of small businesses to get access to credit, enforce contracts in the courts, etc. The governments in question frequently had clouded title to land, in order to put official ownership in the hands of cronies of whoever was in power. De Soto’s style of land reform concentrates on regularizing title to land that was occupied and used informally. While the national and local governments in these countries did a crap job of establishing a transparent system for the ownership and transfer of land, an informal system of rules evolved among those who actually lived as “squatters.” De Soto wanted establish clear title to the land and make the official system for registering title and settling disputes one that has the confidence of the public.

    De Soto set up the Instituto Libertad y Democracia to further this work. Read the “Our History” page there.

    Of course, reason has interviewed him.

    https://www.reason.com/DeSoto.shtml

    Kevin

  20. what does this mean for the giant Citgo sign in Boston?

    They’re not called the Red Sox for nothing you know.

    Well, ok, maybe they are called the Red Sox for no apparent reason.

    Which brings me back to a joke from 1986. What do/did Bill Buckner and Michael Jackson have in common?

    Answer in my next post. Please excuse the annoying space filler I am about to put up so no one can easily see the answer.

    B
    I
    L
    L

    B
    U
    C
    K
    N
    E
    R

  21. Answer:

    They both wear/wore a glove for no apparent reason.

  22. Personally, I don’t buy Citgo Gas. It’s my little tiny way of telling Hugocito to get lost.

    As an aside, and to toot my own bonafides, I have met Chavez a couple of times in person and once, during his initial election campaign, I sat next to him for a couple of hours in a meeting with investors trying to figure out what each candidate might do (Chavez was polling third place at the time)

    The guy is:

    1) Smart
    2) Muy Loco

  23. Personally, I don’t buy Citgo Gas. It’s my little tiny way of telling Hugocito to get lost.

    I don’t buy Citgo because it’s always the highest priced gas in town. I don’t know if that’s how it is everywhere but it’s the way it is here in Central Florida.

  24. I don’t buy Citgo because my Lexus doesn’t like their premium formulation. Shell V-Power, and nothing but Shell V-Power for me!

  25. I don’t buy Citgo because my Lexus doesn’t like their premium formulation. Shell V-Power, and nothing but Shell V-Power for me!

    I thought all gasoline in this coutry was fungible, much like the power grid. After a refinery puts it into the pipeline, they are entitled to take out an equal amount at their distribution point.

  26. Chris,

    That’s true of your standard regular and mid-grade, but certain brands have their own specific premium formulas.

  27. And his sidekick:

    T
    O
    N
    Y

    G
    R
    A
    F
    F
    A
    N
    I
    N
    O

  28. arepas,

    Chavez won in a landslide in his first election, too. As opposed to Bush, who lost his first election (mid-six figures margin of “victory”), and narrowly won the second.

    Parties that have a chance of winning elections don’t generally boycott them.

  29. Funny how thieving aristocracy gets a pass- its thier RIGHT! i hear often enough.
    Steal peoples pensions, you get compared to “christ”- see : Ken Lay. Steal bread for the hungry……why, youre a thief.
    Chavez is no saint, & I hold no brief for him. But I lived over a year in various Spanish lands. I “defended democracy” in Viet Nam. Fact is, aristocratic thieves, like say, the Samozas of this world, get a pass. Not from me.
    Chavez spreads it around, thats why he’s a “threat”
    I think this article is a bit rosy, but so what? Compared to what we “know” as provided by MSM, the crackpot right, and first one in slam the door, devil take the hindmost libertarians, maybe its just balance.
    http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0706-32.htm

  30. Spur
    Thanks for the links.

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