LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Compassionate Citgo?

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I’ve noticed that former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II of the famed Kennedy family has renewed his TV campaign with the Venezuelan state-owned oil company Citgo, which is under the control of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The commercial focuses on one struggling middle-class family with serious health issues, and in the spot, Mr. Kennedy says Citgo is the only oil company that is helping out by reducing home heating-oil costs by 40 percent. My question is, doesn’t this struggling middle-class family need help with the cost of gasoline for its cars as well?

If Citgo is such a compassionate, humanitarian company, why doesn’t it reduce the price at the pump by 40 percent, too? Currently the price of regular gas in my area is $3.80 per gallon. A 40 percent discount at my local Citgo station would slash that price to $2.28 and make it the most popular station in town — at least for a day — until every other gas station was forced to cut their price to stay competitive.

If every Citgo station in the United States did this, it would have a profound, positive ripple effect on the entire American economy. This would benefit the struggling middle class the most. I challenge Mr. Chavez and Mr. Kennedy to step up to the plate and take their compassionate home heating-oil discount over to the gas pumps. If it truly is all about helping people, what’s the problem?

EUGENE R. DUNN

Medford, N.Y.

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