In 2007, the Venezuelan government expressed interest in helping fund some county programs. But Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett declined to get involved, Mr. Lacefield said.The last is linked with the Kennedy family; see "Dial Joe-4-Chavez/Massachusetts Democrats love Venezuela's strongman" (link).
"I think he felt that we really didn't need assistance from the Venezuelan government to run Montgomery County," he said. "Our attitude was thanks, but no thanks."
Communities served by Casa have already benefited from Citgo programs. Since 2006, Casa has partnered with Citgo in a program that provides heating oil at a discounted rate to families in the area. Citgo began the national program in 2005 with the Venezuelan government and Boston-based Citizens Energy Corp.
The donation will be spread over three years to help fund the group's $4.4 million vocational training and economic development program. It will offer day laborers and other low-income workers skills courses in the construction trades, counseling to small business owners and access to social services. One of the programs encourages the formation of worker-owned cooperatives. Chavez has encouraged such cooperatives as part of his so-called Bolivarian Revolution.A former State Department official then puts some pro-Chavez spin on it.
...CASA accepted the money despite the strain [of Chavez' anti-Bush tirades, etc.], said Kim Propeack, advocacy director for the group, because few corporations have stepped up to make similar donations.
"Citgo is a large corporation, and it is all too rare in this world that large corporations have a responsibility to the community from which they garner their profits," Propeack said.
Others focused on Chavez's political goals. "He is committed to creating this constituency in the United States and also to embarrassing the United States," said Michael E. Shifter, vice president for policy at Inter-American Dialogue, a policy forum on Latin America-U.S. relations. "That here is this Third World country that is really taking care of social problems in the United States that the United States is not able to deal with -- I think that is politically what Chavez tries to do."
Immigration2008a · Tue, 08/05/2008 - 16:29 · Importance: 4