Venezuelan-owned oil company CITGO has made its first delivery of discounted heating oil to a low-income housing development in New York City.
Residents in the city's Bronx neighborhood are the first New Yorkers to benefit from the Venezuelan government's offer to provide low-cost heating fuel to poor Americans.
Also today in the Bronx, New York Congressman Jose Serrano, Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez and CITGO Chief Executive Officer Felix Rodriguez announced plans for three New York City nonprofit housing corporations to buy discounted heating oil from CITGO.
Venezuela 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. It adds that the offer of discounted heating fuel "is not about politics," despite Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's frequent disagreements with U.S. policies on Cuba, Iraq and regional trade issues.