Friday, May 20, 2005

Should We Try a "BUYcott?"

From via Eyeteeth, a novel twist on an old idea: the BUYcott. We've all seen plenty of calls to boycott companies ranging from Wal-Mart to ExxonMobil, but author Jeff Cohen makes an interesting argument for supporting Venezuelean-owned Citgo:
Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US. (Click here to find one near you.) By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela's democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans.

Instead of using government to help the rich and the corporate, as Bush does, Chavez is using the resources and oil revenue of his government to help the poor in Venezuela. A country with so much oil wealth shouldn't have 60 percent of its people living in poverty, earning less than $2 per day. With a mass movement behind him, Chavez is confronting poverty in Venezuela. That's why large majorities have consistently backed him in democratic elections. And why the Bush administration supported an attempted military coup in 2002 that sought to overthrow Chavez.

So this is the opposite of a boycott. Call it a BUYcott. Spread the word.
I'm spreading the word. I like the notion of taking positive action, but I have to wonder if this will be any more effective than most boycotts (which aren't). Also, I'm interested -- is this a "geo-green" kind of strategy? And St. Louisans -- where are the Citgo stations?

Technorati tags: , , ,