The Corner

Chavez Meddles

Isn’t there a law against congressmen conducting foreign policy? From the AP:

QUINCY, Mass. — Venezuela, a key supplier of U.S. oil imports whose government is a political adversary of the Bush administration, will supply tens of thousands of low-income Massachusetts residents with discounted home heating oil under an agreement signed yesterday.

The agreement will distribute oil from a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company at 40% below market prices. It gives President Hugo Chávez’s government standing as a provider of heating assistance to poor U.S. citizens at a time when U.S. oil companies have been reluctant to do so. Meanwhile, congressional efforts to expand aid in response to a spike in winter heating costs have failed.

Rep. William Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat who met with Mr. Chávez in August and helped to broker the deal, said his constituents’ need for heating assistance trumped any political points the Chávez administration can score.

“This is a humanitarian gesture,” Mr. Delahunt said, speaking outside the home of a constituent who will receive heating aid.

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