05 Feb 2007 Kennedy Mum on Chavez?
Now that several days have passed since Venezuela’s “legislature” gave Hugo Chavez a dictator’s powers, I thought I’d visit the website of his American buddy, former Congressman and Citizens Energy Corp CEO Joseph P. Kennedy II, to see if Kennedy and his organization, which accepts subsidized oil (in-kind donations) from Chavez, had anything to say, pro or con, about the demise of democracy in Venezuela.
The Citizens Energy Corp website press release page says nothing about Chavez — or anybody else in 2007, for that matter.
I then checked the websites of organizations on whose board of directors Joe Kennedy serves. I used for my list of boards the following paragraphs from the family bios page of the Robert F Kennedy Memorial:
Joseph P. Kennedy II has provided advice to the CHR on projects involving Capitol Hill and the US State Department.The former Congressman is currently Chairman and President of Citizens Energy Corporation www.citizensenergy.com, which he had established in 1979. Joe is also active on the Boards of Directors of: Provide Commerce www.prvd.com; Thomas C. Wales Foundation www.walesfoundation.org; Chicago Climate Exchange www.chicagoclimatex.com; I-Flex Solutions www.iflexsolutions.com and the WellChild Foundation www.nubibus.com/wellchild/html/home.html.
(It was nice of the Memorial to include the urls.)
Interestingly, not only did I find no comments on these websites about Hugo Chavez, I also found that Joe Kennedy is not, as his bio claims, on the board of directors of all of these organizations. He does serve on the Provide Commerce board of directors, but he’s not on the Thomas C. Wales Foundation board of directors (he is on their advisory board — a very different thing), or the Chicago Climate Exchange board of directors (again, he is on the advisory board), or on the I-Flex Solutions board of directors (if they have an advisory board, they don’t mention it). I could not find a WellChild Foundation in the United States, although I did find references to one existing in Boston at some time in the past, so who knows: Maybe Kennedy was on their governing board.
On the whole, of five boards listed, I could confirm Kennedy’s service on only one, so I doubt these groups are speaking for Kennedy on much of anything.
So, until such time as Joe Kennedy and the CitizensEnergy Corp have something to say about their patron, Hugo Chavez, and his brand-new dictatorship (officially, anyway), I leave you with a few links to what others have to say on the subject:
WSJ’s OpinionJournal.com: Dial Joe-4-Chavez
USATODAY.com – OPINION: Poverty vs. Politics: Cynicism, not altruism, is Behind Chavez’s Oil ‘Gift’
Addendum: A reader has alerted me to to an excellent essay by Robert McHenry, a former editor-in-chief of Encyclopaedia Britannica, on Venezuela taking, as McHenry puts it, its “place in the long, sad train of Paradises on Earth that so disfigured the 20th century.”
McHenry’s essay begins:
It’s happening again. Another human has succeeded in combining a personal vision of the truly good and just society with the authority to attempt to create it, in the process telling several million other humans precisely how they should live. This time it’s in South America – Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, was granted the power to set aside the country’s constitution and rule by decree for a period of 18 months. The news reports I saw did not comment on whether his powers would include the power to extend his term, but few dictators in history have stepped aside willingly at any time, much less on a date set by mere statute…
I’d quote it all, but for copyright law, but you can read it all free here.