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Venezuelan Oil to Heat New York Homes


Three New York City nonprofit housing corporations are scheduled to sign agreements Tuesday to buy low-cost heating oil from the Venezuelan-owned oil company CITGO.

Jose Serrano, a member of Congress from New York City who helped broker the deal, says representatives of all parties involved (the housing groups, CITGO executives and Venezuela's Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez) will take part in ceremonies celebrating the deal.

Venezuela first advertised its offer of low-cost heating fuel in U.S. newspapers. It says it is providing fuel to New York because the United States always helps other nations and people during times of disaster.

The Caracas government says Venezuela wants to match America's generosity with a humanitarian gesture of its own, and that the offer of discounted heating fuel "is not about politics," despite (Venezuelan) President Hugo Chavez' frequent disagreements with U.S. policies on Cuba, Iraq and regional trade issues.