Boston oilman Joe Kennedy mourns Hugo Chavez death

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Joe Kennedy II, whose oil-for-the-poor program was fed by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is mourning the strongman's death, calling him somebody who cared for the poor.

A spokesman for Boston's Citizens Energy said that Chavez cared for the downtrodden when "some of the wealthiest people on our planet have more money than they can ever reasonably expect to spend."

Kennedy has been under fire for the past eight years for taking oil from Venezuela's Citgo, but he has been defiant in arguing that it was a bigger crime not to help the poor. He has repeatedly rapped U.S. oil giants for not helping his charity.

But now he faces an even bigger question: Will Chavez's successor continue to keep the oil spout open? So far there is no answer and it is also unclear if Kennedy will travel to Venezuela to attend the funeral.

His spokesman said that Venezuela has donated about 200 million gallons of heating oil over eight years. Citizens Energy distributes to low income families in 25 states and Washington, D.C.