7-11 Drops Citgo, Citing Ties to Venezuela's Chavez

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

7-Eleven is dropping Citgo as the gasoline supplier to its 2,100 stations around the country. The companies' contract was already set to expire, but 7-Eleven has been uneasy with its close ties to Citgo, a subsidiary of Venezuela's national oil company.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez attacked President Bush repeatedly in a recent speech to the United Nations, calling him "the devil" and a dangerous imperialist.

Based in Houston, Texas, Citgo has provided gas to 7-Eleven for two decades. So when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez crudely condemned President Bush on the floor of the United Nations last week, 7-Eleven drew a pretty big gulp.

The company said in a statement, "Regardless of politics, we sympathize with many Americans' concern over derogatory comments about our country and its leadership."

7-Eleven's supply switch was actually in the works long before President Chavez spoke last week. The company sought bids for a new supplier of gasoline in October of 2004, and lined up at least one replacement more than a month ago.

7-Eleven notes that all of its new gasoline suppliers will be U.S. companies.

Even as it severed ties to the oil company, 7-Eleven reminded customers that Citgo has some 4,000 employees in the United States. The company says a boycott of Citgo would be misdirected, hurting American employees with no real connection to Venezuela.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from