Former Mass. rep Joe Kennedy is carrying Chavez’s water–or actually, his fuel oil–in Massachusetts. And bragging about it:

In a TV commercial, former Rep. Joseph Kennedy stands aboard an oil tanker moving across the Boston skyline and promises that millions of gallons of discounted heating oil are on their way to poor, shivering families, courtesy of “our good friends in Venezuela.”

What he doesn’t mention is that those “good friends” include Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a socialist and staunch U.S. critic who famously called President Bush “the devil” in a speech last year at the United Nations.

The reference to Venezuela has led to accusations that Kennedy is a shill for Chavez.

Good repartee in that article from Florida Rep. Connie “Daddy” Mack, taking Kennedy to task for appeasement. It’s one thing to broker the oil deal, it’s another to go on TV and smooch Hugo’s bloodstained jackboots:

Kennedy said he approached other oil companies but only Citgo, the Venezuelan government’s Texas-based oil subsidiary, responded with an offer of aid. He said nothing in his contracts require him to publicly thank Citgo and Venezuela. That was his decision, he said.

Speaking of which, those price controls of Hugo’s ain’t working out to good. Funny that he would give us evil Americans a break on the oil price, while his own people starve and inflation spirals out of control:

Food producers and economists say the measures announced late Thursday night, which include removing three zeroes from the denomination of Venezuela’s currency, are likely to backfire and generate even more acute shortages and higher prices for consumers. Inflation climbed to an annual rate of 18.4 percent a year in January, the highest in Latin America and far above the official target of 10 to 12 percent….

Entering a supermarket here is a bizarre experience. Shelves are fully stocked with Scotch whiskey, Argentine wines and imported cheeses like brie and Camembert, but basic staples like black beans and desirable cuts of beef like sirloin are often absent. Customers, even those in the government’s own Mercal chain of subsidized grocery stores, are left with choices like pork neck bones, rabbit and unusual cuts of lamb.

Chavez seems unconcerned: Let them eat brie! And pork neck bones!

(HT: 6MB)
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Thanks to the Hot Air team for letting me post here this weekend, and to all o’ y’all who read, comment, and link. You can catch me now and then at Junkyard Blog.

Update (AP): Here’s the commercial…

…and here’s Bootlicker Joe talking about it a few days ago with Neil Cavuto.