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Citgo To Keep Up Heating Oil Program For U.S. Poor

Citgo has reversed course and will continue shipments of heating oil for poor families in the United States.

The announcement was made in Boston by the CEO of the Venezuelan government's Texas-based oil subsidiary and former Congressman Joseph Kennedy, head of Boston-based Citizens Energy which distributes the fuel.

Kennedy credited the direct intervention of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for helping to keep the controversial program going.

The announcement comes two days after Kennedy said Citizens Energy was going to have to suspend fuel assistance because Citgo needed to stop shipments, citing falling oil prices and the world economic crisis.

The program provides fuel to 200,000 households in 23 states, but has been criticized as a ploy by Chavez to undermine the Bush administration.

Citgo CEO Alejandro Granado said continuing the program is a "sacrifice" for his company.

This program aired on January 7, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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