This is what an online reputation attack looks like: Citgo

August 23, 2006

Here’s an email I just received from someone who normally sends me a lot of jokes. I’m guessing that’s a way a lot of these online reputation attacks go–from people who have a big list and are accustomed to sending things on. I’m not verifying that Citgo is indeed owned by Venezuela and this email is pushing the term dictator, but not of that is the point. This is what it looks like. If you were Citgo, what you would do if this really developed a head of steam? Tell Chavez to shove it?

Bet you have seen, but if you haven’t, worth knowing.

Venezuela Dictator Vows To Bring Down U.S. Government

The Venezuela government is soleowner of the CITGO gsoline company.

Venezuela Dictator Hugo Chavez has vowed to bring down the U.S. government.

Chavez, president of Venezuela, told a TV audience: “Enough of imperialist aggression; we must tell the world: down with the U.S. empire. We have to bury imperialism this century.”

The guest on his television program, beamed across Venezuela, was Cindy Sheehan, the antiwar activist. Chavez had as his guest Harry Belafonte, who called President Bush “the greatest terrorist in the world.”

Chavez is pushing a socialist revolution and has a close alliance with Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro.

Regardless of your feelings about the war in Iraq, the issue here is that we have a socialist dictator vowing to bring down the government of the U.S. And he is using our money to achieve his goal!

The Venezuela government, run by dictator Chavez, sole owner of Citgo* gas co. Sales of products at Citgo stations send money back to Chavez to help him in his vow to bring down our government.

Take Action

Please decide that you will not be shopping at a Citgo station. Why should U.S. citizens who love freedom be financing a dictator who has vowed to take down our government?

Very important. Please forward this to your friends and family. Most of them don’t know that Citgo is owned by the Venezuela government.


13 Responses to “This is what an online reputation attack looks like: Citgo”

  1. Greg Michael Says:

    The story of Citgo is finally getting out. I haven’t seen that e-mail, but I know there are grass-root campaigns going on. Yes, Citgo is 100 percent-owned by PDVSA, it’s a Venesuelan state-owned company and that state is run by Marxist Hugo Chavez. The only Citgo stations are in the U.S. It’s really just a storefront brand. None of the stations are owned by Citgo/PDVSA. They are supplied by large wholsale jobbers who have contracts with Citgo. Now thousands of the stations are dropping the Citgo brand. The in-house PR crew has done an excellent job keeping the story under the radar. But, thanks to blogs, it is exposed to the light of day. Check out my blog:

    You have a very good blog with excellent content.

  2. Brian Sibley Says:

    Two sides to every story.

    Have a look at that story. PDVSA and Citgo have done some good here as well… But you don’t see it reported in the US media.

    This anti-Citgo backlash sounds more to me like anti-Communist fearmongering, circa 1956. Reactivate the HUAC, anyone? It’s been about 50 years. How about an anniversary celebration.

    Get real. Taking down the Bush government would be GOOD for the planet.

  3. Greg Michael Says:

    So Sibley, you have to go to the BBC to find something “positive” about Hugo ‘Boss’ Chavez and his puppet storefront Citgo brand? Is that the “heating oil for the poor” story again? Add up the difference between 500,000 barrels per day to be going to China at about 42 gallons per barrel, that comes to 21,000,000 million gallons a day to China. “Oil for weapons.”

  4. Brian Sibley Says:

    US Oil Consumption = Roughly 20 million barrels per day.
    US Oil Production = less than 6 million barrels per day.

    (Above data from the DOE EIA … did you cite your sources?)

    China Oil Consumption = 7 million barrels per day (half of that is imported, making them the 3rd largest importer, behind US and Japan. Half of China’s oil imports are from Persian Gulf sources. Source: Washington Times April 06)

    So the US and China are both net importers. That seems clear.

    Venezuela – consumption = approximately 500,000 barrels/day
    Production = over 3 million barrels per day.

    Venezuela’s oil exports are over 2 million barrels per day, according to the CIA…

    Hugo “Boss” Chavez sounds a bit more like a capitalist to me when I look at these numbers.

    “Oil for Weapons” — what on earth are you talking about?

  5. Greg Michael Says:

    Do you know that Chavez bought 100,000 AK-47s from China and has distributed them to his followers “to help protect the upcoming vote and a possible invasion by America.”

    Yes Hugo “Boss” Chavez would rather send his tankers thousands of miles to China, taking 30-40 days rather than the 3 to 4 days across the Gulf to the U.S. That cuts dramatically into his profits, but it thumbs his nose at the U.S. as he does with US EPA laws.

  6. Brian Sibley Says:


    Do you have sources for these claims you’re making? You say on your blog that your entire career has been in publishing. I’d like to think that you’re not making this up, but frankly I’m not inclined to believe you unless you can show some evidence that some decent reporting has been done on this.

    Besides, instead of fearing the Venezuelan government, we should more likely be fearing our own. It’s the one that’s been widely reported to illegally tapping our phones and torturing its dissidents and prisoners.

    Did I mention invading sovereign nations? We’ve done quite a bit of that, too.


  7. Greg Michael Says:

    I have also worked in the energy field, investments and IT and have an MBA. So, I have a keen interest and deep understanding of oil companies. There is a lot more going on right now with Chavez — I’m too busy to keep up with it. It’s breathtaking news and you can keep up by setting an RSS feed or a simple Google e-mail alert. But if you are a basic follower of all the claptrap from the major media, don’t bother.

  8. my husband and i run a citgo gas station, and all this media and boycott crap is affecting our business. This station is american owned and operated, our gas prices are as low as the gas stations which are supplied by iran, saudia arabia etc. not long ago prices were an issue now we have to deal with chavez who i think is a big mouth pig. remember you are hurting americans that run these citgo stations who are just trying to earn an honest living.

  9. Mic Says:

    Who says you have to stay with Citgo? If you really care about supporting a pig like Chavez, just ask to join Valero or another large company that is American owned. Or are you happy with the great discounts that Citgo gives you? Be honest with us. Chavez will eventually pull out completely. He’ already signed a contract with China for over 500,000 bpd. That’s half of what he supplies the U.S. now. He wants to pull your supply. Don’t you know that? Maybe you are really a Citgo employee. Be honest.

  10. gbaron Says:

    Before reading Mic’s response to Jennifer, I had the same question. It seems to me that this issue for Citgo is starting to get legs. It is important to point out that I haven’t joined the call for a boycott or suggested that consumers do anything. I am only observing from a crisis management perspective. If I was Citgo, I would be very worried that the connection to Venezuela and Chavez will become more widely known. If I was a Citgo dealer, I would be worried as an American family in business, that I could be hurt by the rantings of a two bit dictator who had a connection to my business. I’d be talking to other distributors as fast as possible. I kind of don’t think this Citgo/Venzuela issue is going away soon.

  11. Mic Says:

    gbaron, you have a good perspective. Chavez is not putting on the show for fun. He is serious. And he has cut the supplies to more than 1,000 distributors a month ago. Jennifer doesn’t sound like she really runs a station. She would have been well aware of the Chavez rants and dealings for years.

  12. Mic Says:

    Now 7-Eleven is making it official! They are reporting today that all 2,100 7-Elevens are dropping Citgo. I think I hear a big gulp from the big fat bastard.

  13. Mic Says:

    Note to PR professionals and hacks: The Presidente of Citgo has issued a press release stating that they were the ones thinking of dropping 7-Eleven for more than two years… Why then didn’t they issue a press release on that and explain why Citgo would want to drop a few thousand retail locations, a few years ago? Do you see what a low-rent job Citgo is doing PR wise to save face? It’s a case study in stupid PR and marketing. Did you ever see Citgo’s institutional TV ad? It shows an oil tanker with the gravely words of “energy reserves now and for the future…” What future? If they were planning on cutting out 7-Eleven and others? And Chavez tries to convince OPEC to slow production to get the price of oil up. Who needs a future like that?

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